Donald and Melania’s Excellent Adventure

President Trump is back in the country after a whirlwind foreign trip that provided everything from giving the Saudis the tacit “have at it” for human rights abuse, to a pope who gifted his writings on climate change, to dissin’ European allies to the point where the leader of Germany has since said the continent can’t count on the US. Yes, it was quite the adventure with nary a mention of Russia or the mess the administration is in at home. And all along the way it seemed the president was the last person the first lady wanted to be with.

Despite his unartful labeling of terrorists as “losers”—because the bad guys would like to be called “monsters”—it seemed Trump succeeded in telling Islamic countries in the Middle East that they had to participate in the eradication of radical Islamic terrorists. Of course, Saudia Arabia, which was the country of origin for 15 of the 19 September 11th hijackers, was never on the president’s (still) struck down travel ban.

President Trump and Arab leaders summon the Justice League.

 

The opening leg of the trip was high on ornateness, high on arms sales and low on any call to respect the rights of all, including women. It was also the first hand slap by the first lady.

 

The president, the first lady (Christian, we think), Ivanka and Jared (Jewish, we know) visited Israel where Trump did not act on his promise to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Again, those pesky optics. Trump’s misidentification of Israel as being somewhere other than the Middle East made even the most stoic Israeli official react.

 

Things didn’t go so smoothly at the NATO meetings in Brussels. Trump was successful in getting across that all the NATO members had to pony up their fair share like they were renters in Trump Tower behind on their rent.

But optics count. Trump slapped around our allies in front of the 9-11 memorial and never once mention Article Five, the “attack on one is an attack on all” section of the treaty. See, the only time Article Five was ever invoked was, you guessed it, on 9-11.

He then preceded to box out the prime minister of Montenegro (yes, that’s a NATO country).

 

The first lady didn’t seem any more interested in holding her husband’s hand then, either.

 

Then came the mother-of-all handshakes with the newly elected French Prime Minister at the meeting of the G-7.

One would think that with the world still in one piece following the president’s foreign trip, he’d return home and point to his successes (such as they were) abroad and avoid drawing attention to the intensifying problems at home. No such luck.

 

Trump has at least declared his confidence in Jared as the heat turns up on Kushner’s attempted back channeling of connections with Russia.

 

It’s back to the real world or real life for the president. Mueller’s investigating and the vultures are circling.

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