Days after US President Donald Trump lashed out at US allies in a Twitter rant, a senior member of his administration summed up the president’s foreign policy doctrine as, “We’re America, bitch,” in an article published Monday.
A top White House official “with direct access to the president and his thinking,” told The Atlantic that, unlike Obama, who “apologized to everyone for everything,” Trump “doesn’t feel like he has to apologize for anything America does.”
“The Trump Doctrine is ‘We’re America, Bitch.’ That’s the Trump Doctrine,” the source was quoted as saying. “The president believes that we’re America, and people can take it or leave it.”
The president’s mercurial and combative go-it-alone stance was on display this past weekend, as he bickered with other major industrialized nations over free trade at the G7 summit in Canada, followed by a trip to Singapore where he is attempting to negotiate an end to tensions with North Korea in a hastily arranged summit and without international support.
Another official said Trump’s policy was to always seek destabilization as a way of maintaining an American advantage, keeping allies and foes on their toes, and an administration figure summed up Trump’s approach to foreign policy to the magazine as “No Friends, No Enemies.”
“We have to explain to him that countries that have worked with us together in the past expect a level of loyalty from us, but he doesn’t believe that this should factor into the equation,” the administration official said.
The report of the harsh internal criticism comes on the heels of a dizzying foreign policy weekend for Trump, who shocked US allies when he used a meeting of the Group of 7 industrialized economies in Canada to alienate America’s closest friends in the West. Lashing out over trade practices, he lobbed insults at the G-7 host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He left early, and as he flew to Singapore, he tweeted that he was yanking the US out of the traditional group statement.
Since Trump took office, the US has abandoned or threatened to quit several international accords under his “America First” policy. His strategy envisions nations in a perpetual state of competition, reverses Obama-era warnings on climate change, and de-emphasizes multinational agreements that have dominated the United States’ foreign policy since the Cold War.
Trump’s advisers insist the “America First” slogan does not imply any new isolationist stance, but a pattern of disengagement from multilateral commitments has emerged.
On Tuesday, Trump is scheduled to hold historic face-to-face talks in Singapore with North Korean Dictator Kim Jong un, a meeting that would have seemed unimaginable just a few months ago as tensions flared between the two leaders over the North’s missile and nuclear programs.
Trump would be the first sitting US president to negotiate directly with a member of the Kim dynasty.
But analysts say it is unclear if Pyongyang will agree to “complete, verifiable and irreversible” denuclearization, as demanded by the United States.
Agencies contributed to this report