The White House is seeking to recast the US president as a world statesman, but critics say his confidence in his own persuasive powers is simply delusional
Donald Trump is embarking on a week of diplomacy and preparation for his first foreign trip-up as chairman, aimed at demonstrating that his personal charisma can override longstanding global divisions and conflicts of interest with old allies.
Trumps personality-driven approach seeks to reassert US pre-eminence in the world through consolidating bonds with foreign leaders, most notably dictators, as long as they are aligned with the administrations priorities of defeating Islamic State and al-Qaida while containing Iranian influence. Pressure to find human rights has been explicitly relegated as a foreign policy mission.
The chairwomen critics argue, however, that abandoning such values damages long-term US aspirations to global leadership. They alert that Trumps overweening confidence in his own persuasive powers is simply delusional and will not help resolve intractable global conflicts and the often contradictory aims of his own foreign policy objectives.
Starting on Friday, the presidents world tour is seeking to recast Trump as a world statesman at a time when the legitimacy of his election victory is under greater attack than ever following his dismissal of the FBI director, James Comey, who was overseeing an investigation into the Trump campaigns links to Russia.
The national security consultant, HR McMaster, was deployed on Friday to highlight the presidential trip-up during the daily White House briefing, with the press more interested in asking questions about Trumps tweeted hint “hes having” videotapeed his conversations with Comey.