FROM Andrew Steer
Is America retreating from the world? During the Obama administration, numerous Republicans criticized Obama for "leading from behind." But as President, Donald Trump has made withdrawing the country from international commitments his calling card. Observers of the Trump White House notice two opposing groups of advisors surrounding the President. Globalists promote conservative values while advocating for America's continued presence and influence on world affairs while nationalists appear to encourage the President to withdraw the country from the global stage on a series of issues, from trade to global warming, following Trump's "America first" campaign pledge. Is this dangerous isolationism, a domestic political play or a sensible path forward? What will the global stage look like with a diminished United States? Who will fill the void: Europe, China…or Russia? Shortly after our discussion, President Trump made an announcement from the White House Rose Garden, officially withdrawing United States from the Paris climate agreement.
Mixed Reviews for President Obama's Last Personal "Pivot" to Asia After Hawaii, the Midway Atoll and Hangzhou, China, Mr. Obama is now in Laos — the first sitting president to visit that country. He won't hold that office for long, and this trip is important in his final effort to bolster US influence in the Pacific-Asia region. Along the way, he talked Syria with Vladimir Putin, and he was called an "SOB" by the President of the Philippines. He finalized the climate-change deal with China — but the Trans Pacific Partnership may never pass Congress. We hear about successes and failures.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.