Spicer: NATO Is 'Evolving Towards The President's Position,' Not The Other Way
- Author: Salvatore Jensen Apr 15, 2017,
Apr 15, 2017, 9:54
One of Donald Trump's many memorable lines on the campaign trail was about ISIS. This was one of his top campaign promise. But Taiwan is a non-negotiable item for China and Trump had to back down. I said it was obsolete; it's no longer obsolete. "It's no longer obsolete", he said. We talked trade. We talked a lot of things. He now says of the bank, which supports USA exports, "Actually, it's a very good thing".
Trump downplayed the former Breitbart News chief's importance during a New York Post interview Tuesday and indicated he was wearying of factional fighting inside the West Wing, which has pitted Bannon against Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, among others.
But remember what the president said about China during the campaign?
"That's a butcher. That's a butcher", Trump said, adding there was no place for Assad in Syria's future politics. But no combination of presidential flexibility has produced the desired result.
At a press conference last July, he said: "I never met Putin, I don't know who Putin is". And now we're getting some signals about what have - what could have transpired.
Trump's optimistic prognosis followed his declaration Wednesday that U.S. -Russia relations "may be at an all-time low", and that "right now we're not getting along with Russian Federation at all".
The alliance, he continued, is "implementing the biggest reinforcement of collective defenses since the Cold War" in the wake of "more turmoil with ISIL, terrorism, and a more assertive Russian Federation to the East". The White House, however, is struggling to explain some of the changes.
Trump, in May, 2016: "NATO is obsolete".
And his budget guru quietly declared that a promise to eliminate the deficit was just "hyperbole". To some degree, Trump is learning on the job, as have all presidents before him, but it would be naïve to suggest that Trump's apparent flip-flop in policy position is due entirely to his newfound experience of being in office. "I think in some cases the issues evolve that it's not just a clear and fast statement that the entity itself is moving towards his - or the issue is evolving towards the position that he articulated".
President Trump has changed his positions on Syria, NATO, China, the Fed, and the Ex-Im Bank (not to mention Obamacare repeal and prosecuting Hillary Clinton), all within the past few days.
"NATO, he asserted can and must do more in the global fight against terrorism". (Other countries) have an obligation to make payments.
But the idiosyncrasies of a 70-year-old dealmaker may also explain some of his strategic gymnastics.
Pointing to the shift on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation specifically, Spicer argued that the alliance has responded to Trump's criticisms of certain countries failing to meet their financial obligations and his charge that the group wasn't fighting terrorism.
After meeting Trump, Xi refrained from blocking a United Nations vote condemning Assad, turned away North Korean coal ships and, according to officials, signaled market access may soon improve for USA auto and agricultural firms.
During his campaign, Mr Trump insisted that one of his first acts as president would be to direct his treasury secretary to label China a currency manipulator. When meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida last week, Trump appears to have been influenced by an extended, direct history lesson on China's relationship with North Korea.