Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Trump, Donald

  • U.S. President 
  • Trump Organization

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When he took office, Donald Trump’s foreign policy vision was frequently criticized as inconsistent and ad hoc, often driven by child-like reactions to perceived personal affronts. More than a year into his presidency, Trump’s proclivity for hardline policies and extremist advisers has become abundantly clear. He has sought to overturn numerous long-standing U.S. policies, alienated America’s allies, and taken actions that increase instability around the world. His signature move to date has been his decision in May 2018 to leave the Iran nuclear agreement, which experts fear could lead to a new region-wide conflict.

Among Trump’s other notable moves during his first year-and-a-half in office, he has: brushed aside concerns about Russian overseas aggression while questioning the value of NATO; made numerous ill-advised moves that have weakened U.S. relations with friends while heaping praise on authoritarian leaders from Ankarato Manilato Moscow; announced plans to greatly boost the U.S. nuclear arsenal and glaomorize military weapons in parades reminiscent of the Soviet bloc; imposed new tariffs that threaten relations with long-standing trading partners; sparked a diplomatic crisis when he called a swath of developing nations “shithole countries”; tossed aside America’s humanitarian legacy by seeking to dramatically cut back refugee applicants despite burgeoning global crises; given high-level posts to a slate of hardline foreign policy figures, like National Security Adviser John Boltonand Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; repeatedly threatened and provoked North Korea, which responded by rapidly building up its nuclear weapons capabilities and subsequently repeated its long-standing request for a summit; and embraced a one-sided view of relations with Israel that included his announcement that the U.S. embassy will move to Jerusalem, a decision that was condemned by nearly all members of the United Nations.[1]

Undoing the Iran Nuclear Deal

During his campaign for the White House, Trump said that his “number-one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.”[2]On May 9, 2018, he took a step in fulfilling that promise by announcing he that the United States was leaving the agreement and would reinstate sanctions on Iran. This put the United States in material breach of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), even though everyone, including leading[3]figures[4]in his own administration, had confirmed that Iran was fully complying with the deal.[5]

By law, the president is required to periodically certify that Iran is complying with the deal, and to waive sanctions against Iran. Trump had continued to waive the sanctions, but in October 2017, he refused to certify that Iran was complying with the deal, despite offering no evidence to refute the International Atomic Energy Association’s repeated certifications of Iranian compliance.[6]

Trump had been discouraging investment in Iran from his earliest days in office, appearing to contravene U.S. commitments in the nuclear deal, which states that parties to the agreement agree to “refrain from any policy specifically intended to directly and adversely affect the normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran.”[7]To build a case against the deal, he has repeatedly stated that Iran is violating the spirit of the deal, but to make this case, he only cites Iranian behaviors that were not included in the deal.[8]

While Iran and U.S. partners in the deal have insisted that they want to maintain the deal and are not inclined to reopen negotiations,[9]Trump’s actions and rhetoric are seen as increasing tensions and possibly leading to armed conflict.[10]

On January 12, 2018, Trump waived sanctions on Iran—as required under the deal—for what he said was the last time, setting an effective deadline of May 12 for Congress to pass changes to the deal that he wanted. It was unclear how Congress could change the deal, since it was an agreement between the P5+1 and Iran, but in any case, Congress did not take up any legislation that could address Trump’s demands. As the deadline drew nearer, most observers were convinced that Trump would, indeed, abrogate U.S. involvement in the agreement.

As one journalist described it, “Leaving the deal under these circumstances will lead to unpredictable results. But Trump’s agitation against the deal and threats to unilaterally withdraw have already crippled U.S. credibility around the world. … Tensions with most of our allies, already at unprecedented levels, will go much higher, especially if Trump decides to try to press other countries to participate through the use of secondary sanctions. Iran will, naturally, cease to cooperate with intrusive inspections. It is also likely to accelerate its nuclear program past the limits agreed to in the JCPOA.”[11]

On May 5, 2018, the British newspaper, Observer, reported on evidence that Trump’s administration had employed a private Israeli firm to dig up dirt on key Obama administration officials—Colin Kahl and Ben Rhodes—who had been deeply involved in the nuclear negotiations with Iran. “According to incendiary documents seen by the Observer, investigators contracted by the private intelligence agency were told to dig into the personal lives and political careers of Rhodes, a former deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, and Kahl, a national security adviser to the former vice-president Joe Biden. Among other things they were looking at personal relationships, any involvement with Iran-friendly lobbyists, and if they had benefited personally or politically from the peace deal,” the newspaper reported.[12]

Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC)—which was among the key groups backing the deal—reported that he, too, had been contacted by the investigators.[13]

Rhodes said of the revelations, “This just eviscerates any norm of how governments should operate or treat their predecessors and their families,” he said. “It crosses a dangerous line.”[14]Rhodes also asked, rhetorically, “Why would someone feel the need to do this to win a debate about the merits of the Iran Deal? What message does this send to people entering into public service?”[15]

Trump’s Schizophrenic Foreign Policy on the Campaign Trail

During his presidential election campaign, Trump often stumbled from abrasively hawkish to quasi-isolationist to patently ignorant. One much note incident was a 2015 interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, during which Trump was unable to answer questions about key leaders and situations in the Middle East. After complaining that Hewitt was giving him “gotcha” questions, Trump said: “I mean, you know, when you’re asking me about who’s running this, this this, that’s not, that is not, I will be so good at the military, your head will spin.”[16]

Trump highlighted his ideas on terrorism and national security during a much-anticipated August 2016 speech in Youngstown, Ohio.[17]Observers pointed to numerous misleading or false claims[18]in the speech, including: blaming Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama for withdrawing from Iraq, even though the Iraq withdrawal occurred according to a plan established by President George W. Bush and Trump had previously called for pulling out troops “right now”;[19]his claim that he never supported the war in Iraq, despite the fact that he had previously voiced support for the war;[20]and his “new strategy” against ISIS that the Obama Administration had already been pursuing.[21]

Trump’s national security views drew both rebuke and praise from former military figures during his campaign. In September 2016, a group of nearly 90 retired military officers, many of whom have been tied to right wing politics, signed an open letter supporting Trump.

Columnist David Corn pointed out that, “It’s no surprise that a Republican candidate who has bashed the Iran nuclear deal and called for spending more money on the military could round up this band of former generals and admirals. But here’s the real story: Mitt Romney, during the 2012 campaign, had 500 retired generals and admirals on his side.”[22]

Other military figures excoriated Trump. For example, in a leaked email, former Secretary of State and retired Gen. Colin Powell said Trump was a “national disgrace and an international pariah.”[23]

In August 2016, several dozen former “national security officials” from Republican administrations as far back as Richard Nixon published an open letter[24] saying they would not vote for Trump. They argued that he would be a “dangerous president,” that he appeared to “lack basic knowledge about and belief in the U.S. Constitution,” has “little understanding of America’s vital national interests,” displays “an alarming ignorance of basic facts of contemporary international politics,” and persistently “compliments our adversaries and threatens our friends and allies.”

Both conservative and liberal officials abroad  also expressed deep reservations about Trump. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Raad al-Hussein, said that Trump posed a danger to the world. During a news conference in Geneva in mid-October 2016, the UN official said that “If Donald Trump is elected on the basis of what he has said already—and unless that changes—I think it is without any doubt that he would be dangerous from an international point of view.”[25]

First Year in Office

Trump’s first year in office was characterized by turmoil and confusion. One continuous theme, however was a focus on reversing the policies of his predecessor, Barack Obama. Andrew Bowen of the neoconservativeAmerican Enterprise Institutesaid, “There is a certain personal obsession in his foreign policy to roll back President Obama.”

Commenting on Trump’s first year, a writer for the Wall Street Journalwrote: “Since taking office last year, Mr. Trump has forged close bonds with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, all of whom had particularly frosty relationships with Mr. Obama. He also withdrew from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership accord that Mr. Obama championed and pared back the former president’s opening to Cuba.”[26]

Frequent disagreements and lack of communication were hallmarks of Trump’s relationship with his first Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. The two men often made contradictory statements on major matters of foreign policy, including the tensions with North Korea, support for the Iran nuclear deal, and the crisis in the Persian Gulf between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Tensions grew so high that Tillerson was reported to have referred to the president as a “moron.”[27]

Trump ran into similar problems with his second national security adviser, H.R. McMaster. Although the tensions were less public, reports from behind the scenes led to rumors of McMaster being replaced throughout the second half of 2017 and into 2018.[28]Finally, both McMaster and Tillerson were replaced by John BoltonandMike Pompeo, respectively.

Trump stated that “I am really at a point where we are getting close to having the Cabinet and other things that I want,” and many believed that with Bolton and McMaster he had two men he would get along with and who would carry out, rather than push back on his agenda.[29]

On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

In his first year in office, Trump saw the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians disappear completely. The Palestinian leadership, which tried to maintain a positive attitude toward Trump despite some disturbing rhetoric early on, has now abandoned the United States as a partner in the effort to end Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.[30]The Trump administration is now widely seen as having fully embraced the policies of the Israeli government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu.

Yet early in his campaign, some believed that Trump might favor an even-handed approach to the conflict. Many rightwing “pro-Israel” factions were concerned because his views concerning the Middle East peace process were unclear and inconsistent. For example, Trump stated: “We love Israel. We will fight for Israel 100 percent, 1,000 percent.”[31]  He also foreshadowed his reversal of long-standing U.S. policy in announcing the move of the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “They want it in Jerusalem. Well I am for that 100 percent. We are for that 100 percent,” he stated in January 2016.[32]

However, at a December 2015 speech for the Republican Jewish Coalition, Trump suggested that Israel was not committed to making peace with the Palestinians. “I don’t know that Israel has the commitment to make it [a peace agreement], and I don’t know the other side has the commitment to make it,” he opined.[33]

Additional complications for Jewish potential Trump supporters were the candidate’s “anti-Semitic followers,[34] anti-Semitic (re)tweets[35] and anti-Semitic-ish comments[36] to Republican donors,” as FiveThirtyEight reported.[37]“For those Jews who are primarily interested in American foreign policy in the Middle East, Trump’s lack of engagement with foreign affairs and unprecedented lack of experience in government make him an unknown quantity on many public policies,[38]including foreign policy toward Israel. His early statements on Israel also signaled possible deviation from the standard pro-Likud line.”[39]

Because of these factors, Trump’s support in the Jewish-American community plummeted in the lead up to the election. According to FiveThirtyEight, “So far in 2016, of all the money given to major-party candidates by donors who appear to be Jewish, 95 percent has gone to Hillary Clinton and just 5 percent has gone to Donald Trump.”[40]

In the months after his election, however, Trump repeatedly embraced a one-sided view of relations with Israel. He appointed a major funder of Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem as U.S. ambassador to Israel (David Friedman).[41]He named his son-in-law, Jared Kushner [42]and his lawyer, Jason Greenblatt [43]as his key Middle East envoys, despite both men’s well-established ties to the hardline pro-Israel Jewish community in the United States. Nikki Haley, Trump’s Ambassador to the United Nations immediately made it clear that she believed a significant part of her job was defending Israel at the UN.[44]

After the December 2016 UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements in occupied territories, a vote the Obama administration chose to abstain from, Trump condemned the resolution, pressured Obama to veto it, said it was a “big loss” for Israel, and claimed that “things would be different” when he became president.

Retired CIA officer and prominent foreign policy analyst Paul R. Pillar said of the UN resolution: “As a matter of substance, Trump’s posture toward the UN resolution should be occasion for deep dismay. Long forgotten is his promise to be a ‘neutral guy‘ in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Since he made that pledge he has come to terms with (right wing casino mogul and major Republican funder) Sheldon Adelsonand, through other statements and appointments, has made clear that he will be anything but neutral.”[45]

In the early days of his administration, Trump refused to endorse a two-state solution.[46]He more recently said the U.S. “would support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides,” a formulation widely seen as giving Israel veto power over such a solution.[47]He has refrained from criticizing any Israeli actions, including settlement expansion.[48]These conditions raised tensions in the region, which boiled over when Trump announced that the United States was recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and would move its embassy there. Anger over this decision was immediate in the region,[49]with unrest continuing to the present day,[50]and long-term effects remaining a concern.[51]

In response, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the U.S. could no longer function as a mediator of peace talks[52]and soon after refused to meet with Vice President Mike Pence when he came to the region.[53]

Trump took Abbas’ refusal to meet Pence as a personal insult and responded by withholding funds for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) which provides sustenance for hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees throughout the region. He also threatened all aid to the Palestinians unless they returned to the negotiating table, saying, “That money is on the table and that money is not going to them unless they sit down and negotiate peace.”[54]

The Trump administration has presented a peace plan to the Israelis and Palestinians which Trump is trying to force the Palestinians to agree to by withholding the aid. The peace deal was developed by Trump’s envoys, Kushner and Greenblatt, in coordination with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.[55]

As of the end of April 2018, the peace deal had still not been presented. According to some reports, Trump’s plan “may include” recognition of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, placing the Old City of Jerusalem under international “protection,” and a requirement that the Palestinians give up the “Right of Return” to what is now Israel. It also was said to call for “expanding the PA’s security and administrative authorities in areas A and B of the West Bank,” which called into question the amount of territory Trump’s plan would devote to the proposed Palestinian state and the extent of that state’s real sovereignty.[56]

Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Crisis

On June 5, 2017, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt announced that they were severing ties with Qatar, in the wake of broadcasts that escalated tensions between Qatar and the other states. This was barely two weeks after Trump had made his first visit as President to Saudi Arabia. The Saudi king and Crown Prince reportedly poured flattery and honors on Trump, which was instrumental in Trump adopting the Saudi view of the Gulf region’s politics virtually without deviation.[57]

The next day, Trump tweeted his unqualified support for the Saudis, saying “During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar – look!”[58]The standoff continues, although Qatar has mended some fences with the United States and is weathering the boycott.

Trump, through his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, continued close coordination with Saudi Arabia.[59]This was chilled somewhat by Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,[60]but the Saudis continued to work with the Trump administration closely on the proposed peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.[61]

Escalating the Threat of Nuclear War with North Korea and Conflict with China

During his presidential campaign, Trump seized on North Korea as an issue he could use for demonstrative declarations and criticism of past administrations. But Trump’s campaign statements varied wildly in how he would approach the issue of North Korea. In a January 2016, Trump called North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un a “maniac” and erroneously stated that North Korea was “completely under the control of China.”[62]Trump implied that he expected China to take greater action against North Korea. Coupled with his accusatory tone toward China, this seemed to augur potential escalation with Beijing. Trump said that as president he would “immediately” declare China a “currency manipulator.” In a January 2016 interview with the New York Times, he said that he would “tax China on products coming in.” He added: “I would do a tax … [and] the tax should be 45 percent.”[63]

Trump has been less aggressive with China as President than he had indicated, and many observers believe that the United States’ influence in the region has declined sharply under Trump.[64]But his rhetoric has been much more provocative regarding North Korea. Trump has repeatedly mocked North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, calling him “little rocket man” and one time saying Kim was “short and fat.”[65]He has also implied a threat of a nuclear strike, saying that the United States would respond to further North Korean provocations with “fire and fury the likes of which the world has never seen.”[66]

While many see Trump’s statements as bluster, the ongoing and escalating tensions have prompted the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists to move the symbolic “Doomsday Clock” ahead by 30 seconds, to two minutes to midnight, the closest to global destruction the clock has been since 1953.[67]

Nevertheless, during the first half of 2018, there was considerable progress in talks between North and South Korea. North Korea sent a delegation to the winter Olympics in the south and opened a wide-ranging, high-level dialogue. This culminated, in April, in a summit meeting between Kim Jong-Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-In committed to a framework for talks with the goals of officially ending the Korean War—which reached an armistice in 1953 and so has remained in a technical state of war ever since—and, with a firm peace treaty in hand, the denuclearization of the entire Korean Peninsula.[68]

Trump—who had earlier surprised the world by accepting without conditions a South Korean-presented proposal for a summit with Kim Jong-Un—claimed credit for the breakthrough. He told a rally of his supporters, “I had one of the fake news groups this morning, they were saying, ‘what do you think President Trump had to do with it?’

“I’ll tell you what—like how about ‘everything.”[69]

Other observers were more skeptical. One journalist noted, “Kim’s recent concessions—a promise to refrain from nuclear testing and a willingness to discuss disarmament—are not what Trump thinks. Although the suspension of tests is certainly welcome, it’s clear that Kim feels he is secure with a nuclear deterrent. He is, therefore, abandoning the long-time North Korean policy of ‘parallel advancement’ of nuclear power and economic growth to focus on the latter. The growth of the two has hardly been parallel, so Kim may well have decided to catch up on the economic side.”[70]

Another observer, Daniel Drezner, wrote, “Kim’s bargaining position has also strengthened considerably over the past year. North Korea has made great strides in both its nuclear and ballistic missile technology. It also accidentally destroyed the mountain where it conducted its missile tests. Given these facts—and, let’s be fair, the ratcheting up of global pressure—Kim’s pivoting to negotiations is unsurprising. I have yet to read a compelling causal argument for Kim’s friendliness that cannot be explained away by North Korean military strength rather than economic vulnerability. The latter likely played a factor, but the former seems way more important.“[71]

On nuclear weapons

North Korea is not the only part of Trump’s policies regarding nuclear weapons to raise grave concerns. Trump’s statements on nuclear weapons have been worrisome since the campaign trail.[72]In an interview with Chris Matthews during the election campaign, Trump suggested that he would use nuclear weapons to combat ISIS. When Matthews countered that no one in the world wants to hear a U.S. presidential candidate talk about using nuclear weapons, Trump said: “Than why do we make them?”[73]

Trump reignited concerns about his nuclear weapons views when, a few weeks before his inauguration, he said on Twitter that the U.S. “must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.”[74]Trump’s campaign manager later attempted to downplay the statement, saying “He’s not making policy on Twitter” and misleadingly arguing that “perhaps” Trump was  “echoing what President Obama himself has tried to do here, which is get upgrades to our nuclear systems.”[75]

It is true that Obama had proposed a plan to upgrade and modernize the United States’ nuclear arsenal at the cost of $1 trillion over 30 years. Many experts felt this was wasteful and unnecessary.[76]

In his 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), Trump not only doubles down on the Obama plan, he greatly expands the integration of nuclear and conventional forces, expands the deployment of nuclear weapons, and broadens the circumstances under which nuclear weapons might be used.
Dr. Lisbeth Gronlund, senior scientist and co-director of the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists offers the following analysis of the NPR: “One of the most disturbing and significant changes to U.S. policy outlined in the NPR is the tighter integration of U.S. nuclear and conventional forces, including training and exercising with these integrated forces, so U.S. forces can operate…in the face of nuclear threats and employment. This is the text-book definition of nuclear war-fighting. This new policy deliberately blurs the line between nuclear and conventional forces and eliminates a clear firewall.
“The decision to deploy another type of low-yield weapon—this one on submarines—is consistent with the new emphasis on nuclear war-fighting. Existing U.S. B61 bombs and air-launched cruise missiles already have low-yield options.

“The administration’s new policy also shoots a big hole in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is key to U.S. security. It simply rejects the U.S. obligation to take steps toward nuclear disarmament. Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has made progress—albeit slow progress—in reducing the number, types and role of its nuclear weapons. The new policy reverses that progress. The NPR is a giant slap in the face of the non-nuclear weapon states, who are already fed up with the slow progress of the United States and Russia.

“President Trump is embarking on a reckless path—one that will reduce U.S. security both now and in the longer term.”[77]

Dividing the neocons

Trump has divided key Republican Party constituencies, notably including the neoconservatives, whom some observers argue were instrumental in Trump’s rise to the top of the GOP.[78]Several neocon figures associated with the George W. Bush administration and the Iraq War claimed during the presidential race they would vote for Hillary Clinton because of their deep misgivings about Trump, including former Pentagon chief Paul Wolfowitz and Project for the New American Century cofounder Robert Kagan. Wolfowitz, in a widely cited Der Spiegel interview, said, “He says he admires Putin, that Saddam Hussein was killing terrorists, that the Chinese were impressive because they were tough on Tiananmen Square. That is pretty disturbing.”[79] Weekly Standard and Commentary contributor Max Boot has complained that “Trump is a fascist.”[80]

Other neoconservatives, however, like former CIA director James Woolsey and Center for Security Policy head Frank Gaffney embraced Trump. After Trump’s foreign policy speech in Youngstown, Gaffney told Breitbart News: “Having had the privilege of serving with President Reagan, I know it when I see it. What Donald Trump did, in this piece, was lay out both an understanding of the existential threat we’re facing—and this, of course, is something Reagan described as every generation’s task, is to confront existential threats to freedom. And Donald Trump said ours is radical Islam.”[81]

Top neoconservative pundit Bill Kristol initially vociferously opposed Trump, going so far as to propose creating a “new party” if “Trump wins the GOP nomination.”[82] After Trump clinched the nomination, Kristol continued to berate him, though his views appeared to soften. “If it were a domestic policy election, I probably would swallow hard and vote for Trump,” said Kristol in a July 2016 interview with Politico. “If it were a pure foreign policy election, I’d probably swallow hard and vote for Hillary Clinton.”[83]

Commenting on the these reactions, Justin Raimondo of the libertarian Antiwar.comwrote: “Trump, for all his contradictions, gives voice to the ‘isolationist’ populism that [Sen. Marco] Rubio and his neocon confederates despise, and which is implanted so deeply in the American consciousness.”[84]

Racism

Trump has spurred widespread criticism and condemnation for his racist rhetoric about immigrants. When he announced his presidential bid, Trump proclaimed: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best…They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”[85]

Trump also expressed deeply Islamophobic views during his campaign. He referred to refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict as “one of the great Trojan horses.”[86] He said that he would “strongly consider” shutting down mosques in the United States and would “certainly implement” a database tracking American Muslims.[87] After the November 2015 San Bernardino shooting, he called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”[88] This comment garnered intense criticism from across the political spectrum and across the globe. Even staunchly hardline figures like former Vice President Dick Cheney expressed dismay, arguing that Trump’s words went “against everything we stand for.”[89]

Trump has sought to justify his calls to ostracize American Muslims by citing a survey conducted by the virulently Islamophobic Center for Security Policy (CSP), a group run by neoconservative ideologue Frank Gaffney. The CSP poll that Trump referenced claims that “25% of [American Muslims] agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of the global jihad.” It has been widely dismissed by experts as having “dubious” methodology.[90]

Trump has repeatedly instituted regulations to bar people from a list of Muslim countries from immigrating or even entering the United States. Despite legal challenges that have delayed some of Trump’s initiatives and in some cases, forced him to alter the parameters of the regulations, there has been a sharp decline in the number of visas granted to Muslims since Trump took office.[91]

Trump has caused controversy with his reluctance to criticize white nationalists who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, a march which resulted in the murder of a counter-protester.[92]More recently, he provoked international outrage when he voiced objections to allowing immigrants from “shithole countries” into the United States. He was referring to Haiti, El Salvador, and the countries of Africa. He added a preference for immigrants from Norway, further demonstrating the racism at the heart of the comments.[93]

[1]Colin Dwyer, “U.N. Votes Overwhelmingly To Condemn U.S. Decision On Jerusalem,” NPR, December 21, 2017, https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/21/572565091/u-n-votes-overwhelmingly-to-condemn-trumps-jerusalem-decision

[2]JTA, “Full Text of Donald Trump’s Speech to AIPAC,” The Times of Israel, March 22, 2016 http://www.timesofisrael.com/donald-trumps-full-speech-to-aipac/

[3]Ryan Costello, “Pompeo Is Not Going To Save The Iran Deal,” Lobelog, April 23, 2018, https://lobelog.com/pompeo-is-not-going-to-save-the-iran-deal/

[4]AP, “Mattis Says Iran Nuclear Deal Includes ‘Robust’ Verification,” New York Times, April 26, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2018/04/26/us/politics/ap-us-united-states-iran-nuclear.html

[5]Samantha Pitz and Ryan Fedasiuk, “International Support for the Iran Nuclear Deal,” Arms Control Association, April 28, 2018, https://www.armscontrol.org/blog/2018-04-25/international-support-iran-nuclear-deal

[6]Al Jazeera News, “Iran nuclear deal: Donald Trump ‘decertifies’ 2015 pact,” Al Jazeera, October 13, 2017, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/10/iran-nuclear-deal-donald-trump-decertifies-2015-pact-171012101055479.html

[7]Mitchell Plitnick, “Did Trump Just Violate The Iran Deal?” LobeLog, July 11, 2017, http://lobelog.com/did-trump-just-violate-the-iran-deal/

[8]Zack Beauchamp, “Trump’s monumental Iran deal decision, explained,” Vox October 12, 2017, https://www.vox.com/world/2017/10/12/16447436/trump-iran-deal-decertify-inara

[9]Robin Emmitt and John Irish, “EU to meet Iran to back nuclear deal in message to Trump,” Reuters, January 10, 2018, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-eu/eu-to-meet-iran-to-back-nuclear-deal-in-message-to-trump-idUSKBN1EZ1VZ

[10]Chris Stevenson, “Trump raises danger of war after move on Iran nuclear deal, Germany warns,” The Independent, October 14, 2017 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-war-iran-nuclear-deal-north-korea-germany-europe-a8000846.html

[11]Mitchell Plitnick, “The Day After Leaving The Iran Deal,” Lobelog, April 27, 2017, https://lobelog.com/the-day-after-leaving-the-iran-deal/

[12]Mark Townsend and Julian Borger, “Revealed: Trump team hired spy firm for ‘dirty ops’ on Iran arms deal,” The Guardian, May 5, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/may/05/trump-team-hired-spy-firm-dirty-ops-iran-nuclear-deal?CMP=fb_newsbot&variant=editors-picks-international

[13]Trita Parsi, Twitter, May 7, 2018, https://twitter.com/tparsi/status/993338606629588992

[14]Ronan Farrow, “Israeli Operatives Who Aided Harvey Weinstein Collected Information on Former Obama Administration Officials,” The New Yorker, May 6, 2018, https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/israeli-operatives-that-aided-harvey-weinstein-collected-information-on-former-obama-administration-officials

[15]Ben Rhodes, Twitter, May 6, 2018, https://twitter.com/brhodes/status/993156085321207808

[16]Zeke Miller, “Donald Trump Stumbles on Foreign Policy Knowledge in New Interview,” Time, September 4, 2015, http://time.com/4022603/2016-election-foreign-affairs-international-relations-donald-trump-republican-nomination/

[17]Politico Staff, “Full text: Donald Trump’s speech on fighting terrorism,” Politico, August 15, 2016, https://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/donald-trump-terrorism-speech-227025

[18]Max J. Rosenthal, “Donald Trump’s Wildly Contradictory Foreign Policy Speech in 5 Tweets,” Mother Jones, August 15, 2016, https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/08/donald-trump-wildly-contradictory-foreign-policy-speech-5-tweets/

[19]Yochi Dreazen, “Candidate Trump promised to stay out of foreign wars. President Trump is escalating them,” Vox, August 25, 2017, https://www.vox.com/world/2017/8/25/16185936/trump-america-first-afghanistan-war-troops-iraq-generals

[20]Eugene Kiely, “Donald Trump and the Iraq War,” Factcheck.org, February 19, 2016, https://www.factcheck.org/2016/02/donald-trump-and-the-iraq-war/

[21]Kimberly Dozier, “U.S. Commandos Running Out of ISIS Targets,” Daily Beast, July 5, 2017, https://www.thedailybeast.com/us-commandos-running-out-of-isis-targets

[22]David Corn, Trump Announces 88 Top Former Military Officials Backing Him. Romney Had 500,” Mother Jones, September 6, 2016, https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/09/trump-miltiary-officials-letter-romney/

[23]Michael D. Shear, “Colin Powell, in Hacked Emails, Shows Scorn for Trump and Irritation at Clinton,” New York Times, September 14, 2016, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/15/us/politics/colin-powell-emails-hack-donald-trump.html

[24]David E. Sanger and Maggie Haberman, “50 G.O.P. Officials Warn Donald Trump Would Put Nation’s Security ‘at Risk’,” New York Times, August 8, 2016, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/09/us/politics/national-security-gop-donald-trump.html

[25]BBC News, “US election: Trump presidency ‘dangerous’, says UN rights chief,” BBC, October 12, 2016, http://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2016-37628345

[26]Felicia Schwartz, “Trump’s First Year: How Donald Trump Has Upended U.S. Foreign Policy,” Wall Street Journal, January 17, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-donald-trump-has-upended-u-s-foreign-policy-1516185000

[27]Kaitlan Collins, Barbara Starr, Jeff Zeleny, Elizabeth Landers and Kevin Liptak, “Tensions escalate after Tillerson calls Trump ‘moron,’” CNN, October 5, 2017, https://www.cnn.com/2017/10/04/politics/tillerson-trump-moron/index.html

[28]Eliana Johnson, “Trump’s rebuke of McMaster was months in the making,” Politico, February 20, 2018 https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/20/trump-mcmaster-tension-national-security-adviser-417110

[29]Jen Kirby, “Trump’s Cabinet, ranked by how likely they are to get fired,” Vox, March 28, 2018, https://www.vox.com/2018/3/28/17131870/trumps-cabinet-carson-sessions-firing-rumors

[30]Middle East Institute, “The Impact of Trump’s Jerusalem Move: A Conversation with PLO Ambassador Husam Zomlot,” January 25, 2018, http://www.mei.edu/events/impact-trumps-jerusalem-move-conversation-plo-ambassador-husam-zomlot

[31]Hrafnkell Haraldsson, “Donald Trump Has Decided Jerusalem is the Capital of Israel – The U.S. Has Not,” Politicususa, January 22, 2016, http://www.politicususa.com/2016/01/22/donald-trump-decided-jerusalem-capital-israel.html.

[32]The Jerusalem Post, “Trump pledges to move US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” January 20, 2016, http://www.jpost.com/US-Elections/Trump-pledges-to-move-US-embassy-from-Tel-Aviv-to-Jerusalem-442091.

[33]Paul Pillar, “What Trump Uncovers,” LobeLog, December 6, 2015, https://lobelog.com/what-trump-uncovers/

[34]Ben Shapiro, “Trump’s Anti-Semitic Supporters,” The National Review, May 18, 2016, http://www.nationalreview.com/article/435527/anti-semitism-donald-trump-right-nationalism-white-supremacism

[35]Louis Jacobson, “Donald Trump’s ‘Star of David’ tweet: a recap,” Politifact, July 5, 2016, http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2016/jul/05/donald-trumps-star-david-tweet-recap/

[36]Tim Hains, “Trump To Republican Jewish Coalition: ‘You’re Not Going To Support Me Because I Don’t Want Your Money,’” Real Clear Politics, December 3, 2015, https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/12/03/trump_to_republican_jewish_coalition_youre_not_going_to_support_me_because_i_dont_want_your_money.html

[37]Eitan Hersh and Brian Schaffner, “The GOP’s Jewish Donors Are Abandoning Trump,” FiveThirtyEight. September 21, 2016, https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-gops-jewish-donors-are-abandoning-trump/

[38]Jonathan Ferziger, “Netanyahu, Facing Trump or Clinton, Urged to Take Obama Aid,” Bloomberg, June 13, 2016, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-14/netanyahu-urged-by-some-advisers-to-cut-military-deal-with-obama

[39]Armin Rosen, “Donald Trump just defended taking an atypical approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Business Insider, February 25, 2016, http://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-israel-stance-palestine-2016-2

[40]Eitan Hersh and Brian Schaffner, “The GOP’s Jewish Donors Are Abandoning Trump,” FiveThirtyEight. September 21, 2016, https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-gops-jewish-donors-are-abandoning-trump/

[41]Mitchell Plitnick, “Nominee For US Ambassador to Israel Should Set Off Alarm Bells,” Facts On the Ground, December 16, 2016, https://fmep.org/blog/2016/12/new-us-ambassador-israel-raise-alarm-bells-everyone/

[42]Daniel Estrin, “Trump son-in-law’s ties to Israel raise questions of bias,” Times of Israel, March 25, 2017, https://www.timesofisrael.com/trump-son-in-laws-ties-to-israel-raise-questions-of-bias/

[43]Joanne Palmer, “Meet Trump’s Israel adviser,” Times of Israel, April 21, 2016, http://jewishstandard.timesofisrael.com/meet-trumps-israel-adviser/

[44]Pamela Falk, “Nikki Haley’s U.N. mission: Sticking up for Israel,” CBS News, February 16, 2017, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nikki-haleys-un-mission-sticking-up-for-israel/

[45]Paul Pillar, “Trump Goes All In With the Settlers,” LobeLog, December 24, 2016, https://lobelog.com/trump-goes-all-in-with-the-settlers/

[46]Nicole Gaouette and Elise Labott, “Trump backs off two-state framework for Israeli-Palestinian deal,” CNN, February 16, 2017, https://www.cnn.com/2017/02/15/politics/trump-netanyahu-two-state-solution-israel-palestinians/index.html

[47]Jeremy Pressman, “Trump’s rhetoric on Jerusalem tells us a lot about what kind of Israeli-Palestinian proposal he’ll deliver,” Washington Post, December 8, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/12/08/trumps-rhetoric-on-jerusalem-tells-us-a-lot-about-what-kind-of-israeli-palestinian-proposal-hell-deliver/?utm_term=.9d02b079206d

[48]Luke Baker, “Israel interprets U.S. settlements statement as green light,” Reuters, February 3, 2017, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-usa-settlements/israel-interprets-u-s-settlements-statement-as-green-light-idUSKBN15I1EJ

[49]Colin Dwyer and Scott Neuman, “How The World Is Reacting To Trump Recognizing Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital,” NPR December 6, 2017, https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/06/568748383/how-is-the-world-reacting-to-u-s-plan-to-recognize-jerusalem-as-israeli-capital

[50]Jack Khoury, “Palestinians: One Killed, Dozens Wounded in Clashes With Israeli Army in Nablus,” Haaretz, February 6, 2018, https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/palestinians-one-killed-forty-wounded-in-clashes-with-israeli-army-in-nablus-1.5793081

[51]Mitchell Plitnick, “Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration Is Even Worse Than You Think,” LobeLog, December 6, 2017, http://lobelog.com/trumps-jerusalem-declaration-is-even-worse-than-you-think/

[52]Reuters Staff, “Palestinian president says U.S. can no longer broker peace,” Reuters, December 8, 2017, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-israel-abbas/palestinian-president-says-u-s-can-no-longer-broker-peace-idUSKBN1E22HT

[53]Adam Rasgon, “Abbas Will Not Meet With VP Pence, Senior PA Official Confirms,” Jerusalem Post, December 9, 2017, http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Abbas-will-not-meet-with-VP-Pence-senior-PA-official-confirms-517526

[54]Jonah Shepp, “Trump’s Mideast Peace Plan: Intimidate the Palestinians Into Surrender,” New York Magazine, January 26, 2018, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/01/trumps-mideast-plan-intimidate-palestinians-into-surrender.html

[55]Uri Savir, “Trump radicalizes US Mideast policies,” Al-Monitor, February 4, 2018, https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/02/israel-us-palestinians-donald-trump-mahmoud-abbas-davos.html

[56]Khaled Abu Toameh, “Trump peace plan could recognize Palestinian state – report,” Times of Israel, February 28, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/trump-peace-plan-would-recognize-palestinian-state-report/

[57]Anne Applebaum, “Trump’s bizarre and un-American visit to Saudi Arabia,” Washington Post, May 21, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2017/05/21/trumps-bizarre-and-un-american-visit-to-saudi-arabia/?utm_term=.e19587af91f6

[58]Middle East Monitor, “Timeline: Arab rift with Qatar,” Middle East Monitor, June 14, 2017 https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170614-timeline-arab-rift-with-qatar/

[59]Mitchell Plitnick, “Regime Change In Iran By Other Means,” LobeLog, November 8, 2017, http://lobelog.com/regime-change-in-iran-by-other-means/

[60]Al Jazeera, “Saudi King Salman decries Trump’s Jerusalem decision,” Al Jazeera News, December 13, 2017, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/saudi-arabia-king-salman-skips-oic-summit-jerusalem-171213161923915.html

[61]MEE Correspondent, “Palestinians fear isolation over Arab support for Trump peace plan,” Middle East Eye, January 18, 2008, http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/abbas-palestinian-authority-trump-peace-plan-1434319764

[62]Evan McMurry, “Trump on North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un: ‘You Gotta Give Him Credit’,” ABC News, January 10, 2016, http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-north-korean-leader-kim-jong-gotta-give/story?id=36198345

[63]Maggie Haberman, “Donald Trump Says He Favors Big Tariffs on Chinese Exports,” The New York Times, January 7, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2016/01/07/donald-trump-says-he-favors-big-tariffs-on-chinese-exports/

[64]Ben Westcott, “Asia under Trump: How the US is losing the region to China,” CNN, January 29, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/27/asia/asia-trump-us-china-intl/index.html

[65]Jessica Kwong, “Trump Says He ‘Probably’ Has A ‘Very Good Relationship’ With Kim Jong Un, Whom He’s Called A ‘Short and Fat’ ‘Madman’”, Newsweek, January 11, 2018, http://www.newsweek.com/trump-kim-jong-un-relationship-778999

[66]Noah Bierman, “Trump warns North Korea of ‘fire and fury’,” Los Angeles Times, August 8, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-essential-washington-updates-trump-warns-north-korea-of-fire-and-1502220642-htmlstory.html

[67]Ploughshares Fund, “North Korea, Bellicose Tweets And Other Nuclear Challenges,” Ploughshares Fund, January 25, 2018, https://www.ploughshares.org/issues-analysis/article/north-korea-bellicose-tweets-and-other-nuclear-challenges

[68]Choe Sang-Hun, “North and South Korea Set Bold Goals: A Final Peace and No Nuclear Arms,” New York Times, April 27, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/27/world/asia/north-korea-south-kim-jong-un.html

[69]Phil Helsel, Jonathan Allen and Dennis Romero, “Trump cheered at Michigan rally, roasted in absence at correspondents’ dinner,” NBC News, April 28, 2018, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/trump-bashes-media-claims-credit-korea-talks-michigan-rally-n869836

[70]Mitchell Plitnick, “The Day After Leaving The Iran Deal,” Lobelog, April 27, 2018, https://lobelog.com/the-day-after-leaving-the-iran-deal/

[71]Daniel  Drezner, “Does Trump deserve credit for the Korea negotiations?” Washington Post, April 30, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2018/04/30/does-trump-deserve-credit-for-the-korea-negotiations/?utm_term=.aab0b10475b3

[72]Judd Legum, “9 terrifying things Donald Trump has publicly said about nuclear weapons,” Think Progress, August 4, 2016, https://thinkprogress.org/9-terrifying-things-donald-trump-has-publicly-said-about-nuclear-weapons-99f6290bc32a/#.t26yjug18

[73]Robert Windrem and William M. Arkin, “What Does Donald Trump Really Think About Using Nuclear Weapons?” NBC News, September 28, 2016, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/what-does-donald-trump-really-think-about-using-nuclear-weapons-n655536

[74]Madeline Conway, “Trump threatens to upend U.S. nuclear weapons policy,” Politico, December 23, 2016, https://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/trump-nuclear-arms-race-russia-232944

[75]Madeline Conway, “Trump threatens to upend U.S. nuclear weapons policy,” Politico, December 23, 2016, https://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/trump-nuclear-arms-race-russia-232944

[76]Barry Blechman, “A Trillion Dollar Nuclear Weapon Modernization Is Unnecessary,” New York Times, October 26, 2016, https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2016/10/26/a-nuclear-arsenal-upgrade/a-trillion-dollar-nuclear-weapon-modernization-is-unnecessary

[77]Lisbeth Gronlund, “Nuclear Posture Review Policies Increase Risk of Nuclear War,” Union of Concerned Scientists, February 2 2018, https://www.ucsusa.org/press/2018/nuclear-posture-review-policies-increase-risk-nuclear-war#.WnpBfKhKuUl

[78]Michael Lind, “The Neocons Are Responsible for Trumpism,” The National Interest, March 7, 2016, http://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-neocons-are-responsible-trumpism-15417

[79]Gordon Rapinski, “Bush Advisor Wolfowitz Says He’ll Likely Vote for Clinton,” Der Spiegel, August 26, 2016, http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/paul-wolfowitz-says-he-will-likely-vote-for-clinton-a-1109639.html

[80]Twitter, November 22, 2015 https://twitter.com/MaxBoot/status/668447756512456705?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw.

[81]John Hayward, “Frank Gaffney: Trump’s ‘Reaganesque’ Foreign Policy Speech Defines ‘Existential Threat’ of ‘Sharia Supremacism,’” Breitbart News, August 17, 2016, http://www.breitbart.com/radio/2016/08/17/frank-gaffney-trumps-reaganesque-foreign-policy-speech-defined-existential-threat-sharia-supremacism/

[82]Twitter, December 20,2015 https://twitter.com/BillKristol/status/678581773832470528?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw.

[83]Glenn Thrush, “Kristol to Democrats: Don’t underestimate Trump,” Politico, July 24, 2016, https://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/bill-kristol-democrats-trump-226089

[84]Justin Raimondo, “The War Party Lost the GOP Debate,” Antiwar, November 13, 2015, http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2015/11/12/the-war-party-lost-the-gop-debate/

[85]Michelle Ye Hee Lee, “Donald Trump’s false comments connecting Mexican immigrants and crime,” The Washington Post, July 8, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/07/08/donald-trumps-false-comments-connecting-mexican-immigrants-and-crime/

[86]Eli Clifton, “Obama Rejects GOP’s Islamophobic Statements,” LobeLog, November 16, 2015, https://lobelog.com/obama-rejects-gops-islamophobic-statements/

[87]Gregory Krieg, “Donald Trump: ‘Strongly consider’ shutting mosques,” CNN, November 16, 2015, http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/16/politics/donald-trump-paris-attacks-close-mosques/

[88]Jenna Johnson and David Weigel, “Donald Trump calls for ‘total’ ban on Muslims entering United States,” The Washington Post, December 8, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2015/12/07/e56266f6-9d2b-11e5-8728-1af6af208198_story.html

[89]Eli Clifton, “Meet Donald Trump’s Islamophobia Expert,” Foreign Policy, December 8, 2015, http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/12/08/donald-trump-frank-gaffney-islamophobia-poll/

[90]Eli Clifton, “Meet Donald Trump’s Islamophobia Expert,” Foreign Policy, December 8, 2015, http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/12/08/donald-trump-frank-gaffney-islamophobia-poll/

[91]David Bier, “Trump’s Muslim Ban Is Working, Muslim Immigration Slumps,” Newsweek, December 14, 2017, http://www.newsweek.com/trumps-muslim-ban-working-muslim-immigration-slumps-747922

[92]Mitchell Plitnick, “Why Trump Can Do No Wrong In Netanyahu’s Eyes,” LobeLog, August 22, 2017, https://lobelog.com/why-trump-can-do-no-wrong-in-netanyahus-eyes/

[93]Laignee Barron “’A New Low.’ The World Is Furious at Trump for His Remark About ‘Shithole Countries’” Time, January 12, 2018, http://time.com/5100328/shithole-countries-trump-reactions/

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