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It has been very clear that there has not been a policy process on anything. The president makes a decision, the advisers scramble to implement it. That’s what contributes to all of this chaos and confusion.
Something like this, even if it was a protocol snafu, runs the risk of being seen as a more deliberate offense or a sign of disrespect for the importance of the political role by the E.U. Anything being done by the administration that seems to downgrade or denigrate in anyway the European Union is cause for concern and interpreted negatively.
I was surprised to see Bolton's comments in the press, which seemingly return to the old strategy — defeat ISIS, counter Iran and diplomatically end the civil war. Trump's tweet this morning suggests he is doubling down on his desire to withdraw and doesn’t want to look managed by his staff.
These disjointed messages reflect the lack of a real policy process inside the government. Instead, we have decision-making by presidential tweet or pronouncement followed by advisers scrambling to implement Trump's guidance in a more rational way. If nothing else, it makes it hard for local actors to trust what Trump's envoys are telling them when they know it could be undermined by the president.