Everyone knows there’s like two different Trump foreign policies...There’s the official foreign policy, and then there’s the president’s, and normally they exist in tension. But the point in which the president’s one is strongest is on foreign trips. That’s when he is front and center.
[The transcript of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s interview with Secretary Rex Tillerson is] a significant document [that] confirms suspicions about dysfunctions in Trump’s foreign policy...If there was anything that said, "It’s better than it looks," that would be new...But that was not [in the transcript]. It was really, "It’s as bad or worse than you think."
The progressive [2020 Democratic presidential candidates] seem to be suggesting you can significantly cut the budget while confronting Russia and China, which is wishful thinking at best, at least if one looks at the next four years.
We’re entering the third phase of the Trump administration’s foreign policy...Now comes the reckoning—in which [President Trump] is facing up to the consequences of his own choices and the contradictions within them...I think he had a bit of leeway because America has been as strong as it is, but on Iran and China and Venezuela and a variety of other issues, he’s facing tougher choices.
The Bush protests were largely focused around Iraq, an ongoing war Britain was involved in...The opposition to Trump is more generic. It’s not about a conflict or a particular policy. It’s a large array of policies and Trump himself.
The ‘special relationship’[between the United States and the United Kingdom] is in worse shape than either side will admit...The combination of Brexit, Farage and Huawei makes it particularly fraught...This could be the tipping point where the problems become more public.
The [Australian] center-left party’s failed approach could give U.S. Democrats pause in developing tactics ahead of elections next year...Bold policies can hurt you…don’t confuse the unpopularity of the government with the electorate moving to your ideology.
[President Trump] is trying to rerun the North Korea thing, to be as extreme as he can be up until the point of military action. But the big difference with North Korea is that his advisers then were worried he was going to war, so there was no danger of them pulling him in, whereas, in this case, his adviser wants to drag him in.
[Acting Defense Secretary] Patrick Shanahan is much weaker than Mattis and has no real desire to push back, and also will give the White House and the National Security Council what it wants in terms of exploring military options and generally not try to stonewall the White House...So I think that has changed the dynamic.