Donald J. Trump left the G7 conference in Canada early Saturday to get to the upcoming summit with North Korea in Singapore. He tweeted as he headed to Singapore about the “false statements” made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and made it clear that despite the other members of the G7 working hard to come up with an acceptable arrangement, memorialized in the Charlevoix G7 Communique (available at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-g7-summit-communique-text/the-charlevoix-g7-summit-communique-idUSKCN1J5107), the United States would not adhere to it and not sign on to the Communique.
That was bad enough, but it appears that the Trump administration knows no bottom when it comes to distancing our nation from our allies and cozying up to our dangerous enemies. Peter Navarro, Trump’s Assistant to the President, Director of Trade and Industrial Policy, and the Director of the White House National Trade Council, stated on Fox News Sunday: “There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door…that’s what bad faith Justin Trudeau did with that stunt press conference.”
Director of the United States National Economic Council Larry Kudlow was on the Sunday morning talk shows circuit claiming Trudeau had “stabbed us in the back.” This diplomacy, or lack thereof, is startling in its aggressiveness toward Canada and does not bode well for our relationship with our closest ally that has fought alongside us time after time, including in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the same time he attacks the G7 members, and especially Canada now, he is full of praise for Putin and Russia and Kim and North Korea. With the former, he continues to advocate for its admission back into the G7 and, with the latter, he said of his meeting with Kim and the people of North Korea:
“He could take that nation with those great people and truly make it great. That’s why I feel positive, because it makes so much sense.”
Trump also noted that North Korea had been working well with us, a much different tone than what he used for our allies. Some in his administration are asserting this is to show Kim that he is not weak and that he will not be bullied, but at what expense to our world standing remains unclear. Trump appears to be continuing to play out the dangerous game of fulfilling Putin’s vision to achieve a severing of the United States from the other Western world powers.
Daniel Cotter is a lawyer writing and teaching about SCOTUS, and married father of two boys living in Chicago, Illinois.