Donald Trump

In late spring of 1974, Washington newspapers were crammed with headlines about Watergate and impeachment. But President Nixon was 6,500 miles away in Saudi Arabia, in the middle of an ambitious 10-day, seven-stop foreign trip. His ill-fated mission — derided by critics as "impeachment diplomacy" — holds a lesson for President Trump: While successes in foreign policy can help distract from troubles at home, domestic problems can also spill over into foreign policy and have long-reaching consequences.

President Trump Meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Neal Rosendorf on the turmoil in the Trump White House.

The mood in Riyadh was in sharp contrast to Washington where pressure is building after fresh claims over the President Donald Trump team’s alleged links to Moscow. On his first foreign tour as the US President, Donald Trump joined in a traditional sword dance welcome ceremony ahead of a banquet at the Murabba Palace in Saudi Arabia. Video of the dance shows Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross dancing with swords perched on their shoulders as part of a line of men in traditional Saudi garb, CNN reported.

While most of the focus for the next nine days will be on President Donald Trump as he makes his first international trip as commander in chief, there will be plenty of eyes on first lady Melania Trump, also set to bow on the global stage. [...] Trump's schedule will be packed with many events alongside her husband, but she will also make excursions on her own. If her handful of public events stateside are any indication, Trump could spend time at schools, hospitals, or museums, just like she did before with Queen Rania of Jordan and China's Madam Peng. 

The United States has announced plans to increase its funding levels to Zimbabwe, particularly in the health sector — despite a diplomatic tiff between Washington and Harare. [...]    “We are very heartened that our Congress just passed the budget within the last few days and our President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) funding is remaining constant. In fact it will likely grow to almost $150m next year,” said Thomas.

May 5, 2017

So, when Trump defends NAFTA in order to save American jobs at Smithfield, he’s also protecting Chinese corporate interests. By the way, the Smithfield sale also netted fabulous bonuses for the CEOs on both sides. Increasingly, that too has been the story of free trade. In the textbooks, trade is supposed to be an opportunity for the less well off to get a bigger piece of a growing global economy. In reality, however, free trade has been a driver of economic inequality.

The international community has become accustomed to purely relying on "sticks" to force North Korea to abandon its nuclear program. The question is: Why will North Korea comply if it does not receive any "carrots" in return? From North Korea's perspective, the outside demand for its de-nuclearization is completely unacceptable and unfair. North Korea has proved resilient enough to resist sanction after sanction. It is time that the international community changed its approach now.

Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi will seek to strengthen Indonesia's existing strategic partnership with the United States, following heartening signs from the White House regarding its ongoing commitment in the Asia-Pacific. "Indonesia is ready to fortify its [ties] with the US through mutually beneficial cooperation," Retno said in a statement upon her arrival in Washington DC, late on Wednesday local time.

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