Donald Trump came to the White House with a reputation as a top notch businessman. He built an international real estate empire and is worth billions. He then went into reality television, where his signature line as he dismissed incompetent potential employees was, “you’re fired!”
On Friday, President Trump held a long-awaited face-to-face meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. The meeting was scheduled to be a brief, 30 minute meet and greet, but turned into a two-plus hour substantive session producing a ceasefire agreement for parts of Syria and a plan to continue working together in the future. After the extended session, which was cordial by all accounts, President Trump said the meeting was “tremendous.”
President Trump indicated that the issue of Russian interference in the US elections came up in conversation and that Putin vehemently denied it. It obviously was not a make or break issue in the conversation. President Trump’s latest statement on the issue is that “we don’t know for sure” who was behind any meddling.
Later on Friday, President Trump’s Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, said of the Syria agreement that, “I think this is our first indication of the U.S. and Russia being able to work together in Syria.”
On Sunday, President Trump Tweeted in praise of the Syria ceasefire agreement, adding that, “now it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia!”
It suddenly appeared that the current reprise of a vintage 1950s US/Soviet face-off in relations had turned the corner back to sanity. Perhaps we will be pulling back from the edge of WWIII with thermonuclear weapons!
Then President Trump’s Ambassador to the United Nations, the notorious neocon Nikki Haley, showed up on the weekend talk shows.
To CNN’s Dana Bash, she directly contradicted her boss, Donald Trump, and undermined his official position regarding Russian involvement in the US election.
Said Ambassador Haley of Trump’s meeting with Putin:
One, he wanted to basically look him in the eye, let him know that, yes, we know you meddled in our elections. Yes, we know you did it, cut it out. And I think President Putin did exactly what we thought he would do, which is deny it. This is Russia trying to save face. And they can’t. They can’t. Everybody knows that Russia meddled in our elections.
But Hurricane Haley was not finished. She poured ice water on President Trump’s agreement with President Putin to work together on cyber-security, telling CNN, “[w]e can’t trust Russia, and we won’t ever trust Russia. But you keep those that you don’t trust closer so that you can always keep an eye on them and keep them in check.”
It is absolutely clear that hyper-neocon Nikki Haley has gone rogue and is actively undermining the foreign policy of her boss and President, Donald Trump. From her embarrassing, foaming-at-the-mouth tirades in the UN Security Council to this latest bizarre effort to sabotage President Trump’s first attempt to fulfill his campaign pledge to find a way to get along better with Russia, President Trump’s own Ambassador has become the biggest enemy of his foreign policy.
Surely the President – who as an enormously successful businessman has hired and fired thousands – can see the damage she is doing to his Administration by actively undermining his foreign policy.
President Trump needs to reprise his signature television line. He needs to pick up the phone, ask for Nikki, and shout “you’re FIRED!” into the telephone.
Daniel McAdams is director of the The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity. Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.