Donald Trump on Foreign Policy
2016 Republican nominee for President; 2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President
A new chapter of American Greatness is now beginning. A new national pride is sweeping across our Nation. And a new surge of optimism is placing impossible dreams firmly within our grasp.
What we are witnessing today is the Renewal of the American Spirit. Our allies will find that America is once again ready to lead. All the nations of the world--friend or foe--will find that America is strong, America is proud, and America is free.
American exceptionalism today generally denotes Americans' peculiar faith in God, flag, and free market--the Sanders campaign represents an assault on all three [while Trump supports all three].
Trump's entire campaign is built around the idea that foreign influences are infecting the United States. "The U.S.," he declared upon announcing his presidential campaign, "has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems."
Trump's supporters like the fact that he's rich, blunt, and hasn't spent his life in politics. But his pledges to keep the rest of the world at bay are core to his appeal.
Look at the state of the world right now. It's a terrible mess, and that's putting it kindly. There has never been a more dangerous time. The so-called insiders within the Washington ruling class are the people who got us into trouble. So why should we continue to pay attention to them?
Here's what I know--what we are doing now isn't working. And years ago, when I was just starting out in business, I figured out a pretty simple approach that has always worked well for me: "When you're digging yourself deeper and deeper into a hole, stop digging."
During one especially tense Cold War moment, he even offered himself to the world as a nuclear-arms-treaty negotiator. His reasoning? A man who can make high-end real estate deals should be able to bring the United States and the Soviet Union into agreement.
American can do better. I think we deserve the best. That's why I decided to write this book. The decisions we face are too monumental, too consequential, to just let slide. I have answers for the problems that confront us. I know how to make American rich again.
We would be negotiating from strength. We would win if we would just sit down and negotiate--but using our best people!
Since everything always changes, constantly reevaluate the big picture. Reexamine the landscape; see what's changed and what those differences could mean to you. Then figure out how you can keep up with and make the changes work for you.
Pat Buchanan was actually preaching the same policy of appeasement that had failed for Neville Chamberlain at Munich. If we used Buchanan’s theory on Hitler as a foreign policy strategy, we would have appeased every world dictator with a screw loose and we’d have a brainwashed population ready to go postal on command.
After I [wrote an article on this for] Face the Nation, Buchanan accused me of “ignorance.” Buchanan, who believes himself an expert, has also called Hitler “a political organizer of the first rank.” Buchanan is a fan.
Two dealmakers have served as president-one was Franklin Roosevelt, who got us through WWII, and the other was Richard Nixon, who forced the Russians to the bargaining table to achieve the first meaningful reductions in nuclear arms.
A dealmaker can keep many balls in the air, weigh the competing interests of other nations, and above all, constantly put America’s best interests first. The dealmaker knows when to be tough and when to back off. He knows when to bluff and he knows when to threaten, understanding that you threaten only when prepared to carry out the threat. The dealmaker is cunning, secretive, focused, and never settles for less than he wants. It’s been a long time since America had a president like that.
That is why, tonight, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to help ensure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests, and only go to America's friends.
That was then. After 82 days in office, Trump officially pronounced NATO rehabilitated, taking credit for transforming it into a modern, cost-sharing, terrorism-fighting pillar of American and European security. "I said it was obsolete," the president noted as he hosted NATO's secretary general. "It's no longer obsolete."
Never mind that the alliance has changed very little if at all in the last three months, and that whatever modest changes have been made were in train long before Trump entered the White House. After weeks of being lobbied, cajoled and educated by the leaders of Britain and Germany, not to mention "my generals," as he likes to call his national security team, Trump has found fresh virtue in a venerable organization.
The Russia reversal and the NATO turnabout were inherently linked, of course. As Russia appears more ominous, NATO seems more necessary. But the shift in attitude also offered one of the starkest examples yet of Trump's evolving views: "We must not be trapped by the tired thinking that so many have, but apply new solutions to face new circumstances throughout the world," Trump said at his news conference with the NATO secretary general.
Trump's campaign criticism of NATO stunned many at home and abroad, especially when he suggested conditioning America's commitment to defend its treaty allies on whether they had met their financial obligations.
Trump said that Britain's decision to leave the European Union would "end up being a great thing" and predicted that other countries would follow. "People, countries want their own identity, and the U.K. wanted its own identity," he said.
Diplomats said they had heard him sound off during the campaign. But with the inauguration less than a week away, there is a growing realization in European capitals that Trump's acerbic criticism of NATO and the European Union was not just an attempt to win votes.
"I took such heat when I said NATO was obsolete," Mr. Trump said. "It's obsolete because it wasn't taking care of terror. I took a lot of heat for two days. And then they started saying, 'Trump is right.'"
During his hourlong interview with the European publications at Trump Tower in Manhattan, Trump sought to temper some of his criticism of NATO by noting that the alliance "is very important to me." Still, his characterization of it as divorced from the fight against terrorism was challenged by NATO experts, who noted that the alliance had joined the US in Afghanistan.
Hillary will tell you to go to her website and read all about how to defeat ISIS, which she could have defeated by never having it get going in the first place. It's getting tougher to defeat them, because they're in more and more places, more and more states, more and more nations.
I want to help all of our allies, but we are losing billions and billions of dollars. We cannot be the policemen of the world. We cannot protect countries all over the world where they're not paying us what we need.
Trump then got into a specific example: Saudi Arabia, one of the more important US allies in the Middle East. Saudis "make a billion dollars a day. We protect them. So we need help. We are losing a tremendous amount of money on a yearly basis and we owe $19 trillion," he said.
Walking back trade deals and agreements that allow the US military to operate overseas is easier said than done. But Trump has tapped into a powerful anti-Washington populist sentiment.
TRUMP: I'm a little concerned about NATO from this standpoint. Take Ukraine. We're leading Ukraine. Where's Germany? Where are the countries of Europe leading? I don't mind helping them. Why isn't Germany leading this charge? Why is the United States? I mean, we're like the policemen of the world. And why are we leading the charge in Ukraine?
Q: So you wouldn't allow Ukraine into NATO?
TRUMP: I would not care that much. Whether it goes in or doesn't go in, I wouldn't care. Look, I would support NATO.
Q: It sounds like you're not a fan of NATO
TRUMP: I'm a fan of fairness. I'm a fan of common sense. I'm certainly not a fan of us being against Russia. Why are we always at the forefront of everything?
OnTheIssues Fact Check: Is that true? The United States Senate unanimously supported declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel? Despite the controversy--and possible war with the Palestinians--that such a declaration could cause? Yes, we checked; the Senate voted 90-0-10 (unanimous with ten abstentions or absences). The resolution said, "June 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War and the reunification of the city of Jerusalem. The Senate reaffirms the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 as United States law, and calls upon the President and all United States officials to abide by its provisions." The 1995 law calls for moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, including a progress report every 6 months. President Trump is now implementing the 1995 law, 23 years later and 46 progress report due dates later.
Trump drew warnings from Middle Eastern and European leaders that overturning the United States' long-standing policy would further complicate peace negotiations.
The internationally unsettled status of Jerusalem and its central importance to Jews, Muslims and Christians explains why, while recognizing the state of Israel, no nation has its embassy in the holy city.
Finally, I have kept my promise to appoint a Justice to the United States Supreme Court--from my list of 20 judges--who will defend our Constitution. I am honored to have Maureen Scalia with us in the gallery tonight. Her late, great husband, Antonin Scalia, will forever be a symbol of American justice. To fill his seat, we have chosen Judge Neil Gorsuch, a man of incredible skill, and deep devotion to the law. He was confirmed unanimously to the Court of Appeals, and I am asking the Senate to swiftly approve his nomination.
At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice. The Bible tells us, "how good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity." We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity. When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.
We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action--constantly complaining but never doing anything about it. The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action.
Trump amplified his position by posting the statement on Facebook and Twitter as well: "The resolution being considered at the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed." His words closely echoed the positions expressed by Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has treated the impending UN vote as a crisis, posting on his own Twitter account a message urging Obama to veto what he called the "anti-Israel" resolution. Egypt, who drafted the resolution, withdrew it afterwards.
Trump: "When I become president, the days of treating Israel like a second-class citizen will end on day one," he said, to applause. "I will meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu immediately. I have known him for many years and we'll be able to work closely together to help bring stability and peace to Israel and to the entire region." American tycoon Donald Trump criticized the White House's treatment of Israel, saying, "There has never been a greater enemy to Israel than Barack Obama."
Clinton: In September 2010, while meeting with Netanyahu, Clinton said the US has an obligation to do all it can to "protect and defend the State of Israel and provide security to the Israeli people." She condemned Palestinian terrorism and advocated for Israel's right to defend itself.
Stein: Has proposed slashing the $4 billion annual military aid package to Israel, and would press for a peace deal with the Palestinians.
But remember the ransom payments. Remember, it was $400 million two weeks ago. But then they made a mistake. This is cash. They said they paid cash because they couldn't open a bank account. There was no way of sending it into a checking account.
The $400 million turned out to be $1.7 billion in cash--cash! They said, "oh, that money's going to be used for terror." I said they don't need it. This is going into their Swiss accounts. They have plenty of money for terror.
Think of it--$1.7 billion in cash--massive, big vats of cash. You saw them--cartons. I never saw anything like it. I've seen a lot of cash. Hey, never saw anything like this. They wouldn't give back the hostages, and Obama kept saying, "no, no, this has nothing to do [with ransom]"--even the hostages said they kept us waiting for a certain plane to come in.
This time, he was squarely on Israel's side. He railed against the Palestinians' demonization of Jews. He reminded the crowd that he'd lent his personal jet to New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani when he visited Israel weeks after the 9/11 attacks and that he'd been grand marshal of the Israel Parade in New York in 2004, at the height of violence in the Gaza Strip. He made sure everyone noted that Ivanka would soon give birth to a "beautiful Jewish baby."
"The Obama administration secretly arranged a plane˙delivery of˙$400 million˙in˙ cash on the same day Iran released four American prisoners˙and˙formally implemented˙the nuclear deal. The money was flown into Iran on wooden pallets stacked with Swiss francs, euros and other currencies˙as the first installment of a $1.7˙billion settlement˙resolving˙claims at an international tribunal at The Hague over a failed arms deal under the time of the Shah.
The $400 million was Iran's to start with, placed into a US-based trust fund to support American military equipment purchases in the 1970s. When the Shah was ousted by a 1979 popular uprising, the US froze the trust fund. Iran has been fighting for a return of the funds--plus $1.3 billion in interest--through international courts since 1981."
TRUMP: President Obama has treated Israel horribly. I have very close ties to Israel. I've received the Tree of Life Award and many of the greatest awards given by Israel. As president, however, there's nothing that I would rather do to bring peace to Israel and its neighbors generally. And I think it serves no purpose to say that you have a good guy and a bad guy. Now, I may not be successful in doing it. It's probably the toughest negotiation anywhere in the world of any kind. But it doesn't help if I start saying, "I am very pro-Israel." It doesn't do any good to start demeaning the neighbors, because I would love to do something with regard to negotiating peace, finally, for Israel and for their neighbors.
TRUMP: A deal is a deal. Let me tell you that. I learned a long time ago.
RUBIO: A deal is not a deal when you're dealing with terrorists. Have you ever negotiated with terrorists?
TRUMP: I'm a negotiator. I've done very well over the years through negotiation. It's very important that we do that. In all fairness, Marco is not a negotiator. I watched him melt down and I'll tell you, it was one of the saddest things I've ever seen. You will never bring peace.
TRUMP: What we want to do, when we want to do it, and how hard do we want to hit? We are going to have to hit hard to knock out ISIS. We're going to have to learn who our allies are. We have allies, we have no idea who they are in Syria. Do we want to stay that route, or do we want to go and make something with Russia?
TRUMP: The Iran deal is one of the worst deals I have ever seen negotiated in my entire life. It's a disgrace that this country negotiated that deal.
So what can be done about it? How do we start winning again? To start with, we need a government that is committed to winning and has experience in winning.
TRUMP: I love a safe zone for people. I do not like the migration. I do not like the people coming. What they should do is, the countries should all get together, including the Gulf states, who have nothing but money, they should all get together and they should take a big swath of land in Syria and they do a safe zone for people, where they could to live, and then ultimately go back to their country, go back to where they came from.
Q: Does the U.S. get involved in making that safe zone?
TRUMP: I would help them economically, even though we owe $19 trillion.
TRUMP: Where they're hitting people, we're talking about people that we don't even know. I was talking to a general two days ago. He said, "We have no idea who these people are. We're training people. We don't know who they are. We're giving them billions of dollars to fight Assad." And you know what? I'm not saying Assad's a good guy, because he's probably a bad guy. But I've watched him interviewed many times. And you can make the case, if you look at Libya, look at what we did there-- it's a mess-- if you look at Saddam Hussein with Iraq, look what we did there-- it's a mess-- it's going be same thing.
TRUMP: It's not even a contest. Iraq is a disaster. And ISIS came out of Iraq.
Q: Well, let me button this up. If Saddam and Gaddafi were still in power, you think things would be more stable?
TRUMP: Of course it would be. You wouldn't have had your Benghazi situation, which is one thing, which was just a terrible situation.
Q: Would you pull out of what we're doing in Syria now?
TRUMP: no, I'd sit back.
Trump has said that the U.S. is mishandling current Iran negotiations and should have walked away from the table once Tehran reportedly rejected the idea of sending enriched uranium to Russia. He would increase sanctions on Iran. Trump has been sharply critical of the Obama administration's handling of relations with Israel and has called for a closer alliance with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
North Korea's reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland. We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from happening.
Past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation. I will not repeat the mistakes of past administrations that got us into this dangerous position. We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America and our allies.
Previous remarks by Trump were not so effusive. Back in 2012, Trump tweeted, "Get it straight: Pakistan is not our friend. We've given them billions and billions of dollars, and what did we get? Betrayal and disrespect--and much worse. #TimeToGetTough". And in July 2012: "When will Pakistan apologize to us for providing safe sanctuary to Osama Bin Laden for 6 years?! Some 'ally.'"
The GOP vice presidential candidate's statement echoes his running mate, who tweeted two days ago : "@realDonaldTrump: The people of Cuba have struggled too long. Will reverse Obama's Executive Orders and concessions towards Cuba until freedoms are restored."
President Obama's executive actions, in part, have lifted a series of restrictions on Cuba, opened a U.S. embassy in the country and established travel and business between the two nations. He issued additional directives to further loosen restrictions aimed at increasing trade with the island nation.
Is that true? Yes, the quotation is accurate, but it's out of context. From "The Guardian" of 4/2/16:
Trump told a crowd he was sanguine about potential hostilities between North Korea and its neighbors. He said that if conflict between Japan and nuclear-armed North Korea were to break out, "it would be a terrible thing but if they do, they do". "Good luck," he added. "Enjoy yourself, folks." According to Trump: "The case could be made to let [Japan] protect themselves against North Korea, they'd probably wipe them out pretty quick." Trump previously suggested that South Korea and Japan should have their own nuclear weapons.
The MIT Atlas indicates that Trump is incorrect: "The top export destinations of North Korea are China ($2.67B), India ($71M), Pakistan ($40M), Nigeria ($20M) and Brazil ($19M). The top import origins are China ($3.49B), Thailand ($107M), Russia ($82M), India ($75M) and Singapore ($48M)." Iran is not in the top five trading partners of North Korea, whether counting exports or imports.
Maybe Trump meant that North Korea is on the top list of Iran's trading partners? The MIT Atlas indicates that Trump is also incorrect if that's what he meant "The top export destinations of Iran are China ($25B), India ($10B), Japan ($6B), South Korea ($4B) and Turkey ($1B). The top import origins are China ($24B), India ($4B), South Korea ($4B), Turkey ($4B) & Germany ($3B)."
We note that South Korea is on Iran's list of top trading partners--not North Korea!
And by the way, another one powerful is the worst deal I think I've ever seen negotiated that you started is the Iran deal. Iran is one of their biggest trading partners. Iran has power over North Korea.
And when they made that horrible deal with Iran, they should have included the fact that they do something with respect to North Korea. And they should have done something with respect to Yemen and all these other places.
DONALD TRUMP: People want to see borders. They don't necessarily want people pouring into their country that they don't know who they are and where they come from. People want to take their country back. They want to have independence, in a sense. And you see it all over Europe. You're going to have, I think, many other cases where they want to take their borders back, they want to take their monetary [system] back, they want to take a lot of things back. They want to be able to have a country again. So I think you're going to have this happen more and more. And I think it's happening in the United States.
Q: Do you think he's right that there's a parallel?
SEN. TIM KAINE: There's a couple things you've got to understand. Young voters, those under 50, especially millennials, overwhelmingly voted to stay. And it was older voters who voted to leave [because pf] immigration issues and European regulation.
Trump has argued that allowing Japan and South Korea to get the weapons would relieve the US of defending their East Asia allies. Foreign leaders from both countries have dismissed the idea. "You have so many countries already--China, Pakistan, you have so many countries, Russia--you have so many countries right now that have them," Trump said during a CNN town hall. "Now, wouldn't you rather, in a certain sense, have Japan have nuclear weapons when North Korea has nuclear weapons?"
"I mean, this guy's a bad dude, and don't underestimate him," Trump said, referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "Any young guy who can take over from his father with all those generals and everybody else that probably want the position, this is not somebody to be underestimated."
Trump maintained that China has control over North Korea and the US has control over China--thus "China should do that," he said. "China has control--absolute control--over North Korea. They don't say it, but they do," Trump explained. "And they should make that problem disappear. China is sucking us dry. They're taking our money. They're taking our jobs. We have rebuilt China with what they've taken out."
TRUMP: Well, I had heard that he wanted to meet with me. And certainly I am open to it. I don't know that it's going to take place, but I know that people have been talking. We'll see what happens. But certainly, if he wanted to meet, I would love to do that. You know, I've been saying relationship is so important in business, that it's so important in deals, and so important in the country. And if President Obama got along with Putin, that would be a fabulous thing. But they do not get along. Putin does not respect our president. And I'm sure that our president does not like him very much.
Trump joins libertarian-leaning Sen. Rand Paul as the only Republican running for president to express his support for normalizing relations with Cuba. The rest of the GOP field has slammed Obama's decision to reopen the U.S. embassy in Havana and engage diplomatically with the government of Cuba.
For the past thirty years, China's economy has grown an average 9 to 10 percent each year. In the first quarter of 2011 alone, China's economy grew a robust 9.7 percent. America's first quarter growth rate? An embarrassing and humiliating 1.9 percent. It's a national disgrace.
We want to trade with China because of the size of its consumer market. But if the regime continues to repress individual freedoms, how many consumers will there really be? Isn’t it inconsistent to compromise our principles by negotiating trade with a country that may not want and cannot afford our goods?
We have to make it absolutely clear that we’re willing to trade with China, but not to trade away our principles, and that under no circumstances will we keep our markets open to countries that steal from us.
Despite the opportunity, I think we need to take a much harder look at China. There are major problems that too many at the highest reaches of business want to overlook, [primarily] the human-rights situation.
Whatever problems [Trump] might have caused in the past had reliably been supplanted by new events, giving Nothing seemed to move on from those two events [referring to James Comey, the director of the FBI fired for allowing the Russia investigation; and Robert Mueller, Special Counsel investigating Russian collusion in the 2016 election].
TRUMP: I don't know Putin. He said nice things about me. If we got along well, that would be good. He has no respect for our president. He has no respect for [Hillary Clinton].
CLINTON: Well, that's because he'd rather have a puppet as president of the United States.
TRUMP: No puppet. You're the puppet!
CLINTON: It's pretty clear you won't admit that the Russians have engaged in cyberattacks against the United States of America, [but] we have 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these cyberattacks come from the highest levels of the Kremlin and they are designed to influence our election.
TRUMP: She has no idea whether it's Russia, China, or anybody else.
Q: Do you condemn any interference by Russia in the American election?
TRUMP: By Russia or anybody else. Let me tell you, Putin has outsmarted her and Obama at every single step of the way.
A: I've built a great company. I've been all over the world. I've dealt with foreign countries. I've done tremendously well dealing with China and with many of the countries that are just ripping this country. I think the main thing is I have great judgment.
Q: What steps would you take to bring Putin back to negotiating table?
A: I would have a good relationship with Putin. Take a look at what happened with their fighter jets circling one of our aircraft in a very dangerous manner. Somebody said less than 10 feet away. This is hostility. Russia wants to defeat ISIS as badly as we do. If we had a relationship with Russia, wouldn't it be wonderful if we could knock the hell out of ISIS?
Q: Putin called you a brilliant leader.
A: When he calls me brilliant, I'll take the compliment. The fact is, look, it's not going to get him anywhere. I'm a negotiator. We're going to take back our country.
At the Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow in 2013, Trump said he was in serious talks about building a skyscraper in Moscow. Trump made a series of complimentary comments about Putin.
Trump would express admiration for Putin's leadership, despite his record of prosecuting and persecuting journalists and political opponents. Still, no Trump Tower rose over Moscow.
TRUMP: As far as Syria, if Putin wants to go and knock the hell out of ISIS, I am all for it, 100%, and I can't understand how anybody would be against it.
Q: They're not doing that.
TRUMP: They blew up a Russian airplane. He cannot be in love with these people. He's going in, and we can go in, and everybody should go in. As far as the Ukraine is concerned, we have a group of people, and a group of countries, including Germany--why are we always doing the work? I'm all for protecting Ukraine--but, we have countries that are surrounding the Ukraine that aren't doing anything. They say, "Keep going, keep going, you dummies, keep going. Protect us." And we have to get smart. We can't continue to be the policeman of the world.
TRUMP: I want our military to be beyond anything, no contest, and technologically, most importantly. But we are going to get bogged down in Syria. If you look at what happened with the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, that's when they went bankrupt.
Q: So, you think Putin's going to get suckered into--
TRUMP: They're going to get bogged down. Everybody that's touched the Middle East, they've gotten bogged down. Now, Putin wants to go in and I like that Putin is bombing the hell out of ISIS. Putin has to get rid of ISIS because Putin doesn't want ISIS coming into Russia.
Q: Why do you trust him and nobody else does?
TRUMP: I don't trust him. But the truth is, it's not a question of trust. I don't want to see the United States get bogged down. We've spent now $2 trillion in Iraq, probably a trillion in Afghanistan. We're destroying our country.
TRUMP: Number one, they have to respect you. He has absolutely no respect for President Obama. Zero. I would talk to him. I would get along with him. I believe I would get along with a lot of the world leaders that this country is not getting along with. I think I will get along with Putin, and I will get along with others, and we will have a much more stable world.
Few respect weakness. Ultimately we have to deal with hostile nations in the only language they know: unshrinking conviction and the military power to back it up if need be. There and in that order are America’s two greatest assets in foreign affairs.
The Christian Coalition Voter Guide inferred whether candidates agree or disagree with the statement, 'The U.S. Should Continue to Support and Stand with the Nation of Israel Against her Enemies' The Christian Coalition notes, "You can help make sure that voters have the facts BEFORE they cast their votes. We have surveyed candidates in the most competitive congressional races on the issues that are important to conservatives."
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