Foreign Policy

Boehner: Trump a ‘Complete Disaster’ Beyond Foreign Policy
Former speaker of the House says Trump is still learning to be president

Former Speaker of the House John Boehner said he doesn't miss his previous job. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former House Speaker John A. Boehner told attendees at an energy conference that beyond foreign policy, President Donald Trump has been a “complete disaster” so far.

As the keynote speaker at KPMG’s Global Energy conference, Boehner said he’s known the president for 15 years and Trump would call him regularly when he had a bad day or to commend him.

White House Middle East Victory Lap Draws Skepticism
Aides pushing a win, but headaches await return from region

President Donald Trump delivers a statement with Israeli President Reuven Rivlinon on Monday in Jerusalem. The White House says its first Middle East visit was a big success, but some Democrats are skeptical. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

The White House is describing President Donald Trump’s first dose of Middle East diplomacy as a “historic” success, but some lawmakers are skeptical that the optimistic rhetoric will become policy, and at least one is looking to block a major announcement from the trip. 

Trump spent all or parts of four days huddling with Muslim and Israeli leaders before heading to Europe on Tuesday afternoon. So confident was the White House that the first leg of Trump’s overseas diplomatic debut had gone well that they did not wait to land in Italy to declare victory.

Annual Capitol Insiders Survey: The Trump Effect
Tensions on the Hill from last year have carried over into 2017

Republicans staffers on Capitol Hill are still not comfortable with President Donald Trump, the latest Capitol Insiders Survey finds. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Last year’s election was humbling for pollsters, and the Capitol Insiders Survey was no exception. The vast majority of congressional staffers surveyed by CQ Roll Call in the days before the election — 91 percent — predicted a Hillary Clinton win. Only 6 percent thought Donald Trump could pull it off.

Still, the results reflect how Trump’s win blindsided the Washington establishment. The majority of Republican aides said consistently during the campaign that they wouldn’t vote for Trump.

With Turkey’s Erdogan, Transactional Trump on Display
U.S. president talks deeper ties on trade, countering ISIS

President Donald Trump welcomes Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan outside the White House on Tuesday. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By midafternoon Tuesday at the White House, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had already spent several hours there in a visit largely overshadowed by Capitol Hill’s grappling with the consequences of President Donald Trump’s recent interactions with Russian officials.

The bilateral meeting between the two heads of state was mostly background music amid a new controversy White House officials scrambled to tamp down: Trump’s apparent disclosure of a classified Islamic State plot to Russian officials last week in the Oval Office. But when the two leaders appeared together, the U.S. president made clear he has no intention of distancing himself from a Middle Eastern leader many lawmakers and experts warn is a dictator-in-the-making.

At Center for American Progress, a Tryout for 2020 Ideas
D.C. gathering alternates between liberal goals, Trump reaction

California Sen. Kamala Harris took aim at the administration’s approach to drug policy at Tuesday’s Center for American Progress gathering. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Potential Democratic presidential candidates took center stage Tuesday for what might prove to be the kickoff of the 2020 campaign, but the popular characterization of the progressive policy confab as a “CPAC for liberals” might have missed the mark.

The Center for American Progress’ 2017 Ideas Conference looked like the kind of muted 2020 cattle call one would expect from a gathering in the ballroom of the Georgetown Four Seasons in Washington. Missing were the raucous crowds that overtake the sprawling gathering at National Harbor for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

Despite Campaign Pledges, Trump Plans Active Foreign Policy
Official: May trip signals America re-engaging in world affairs

President Donald Trump is seen through a window speaking on the phone with King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud, in the Oval Office of the White House, January 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Trump’s coming swing through Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican is a signal that the United States is moving away from “disengagement” in world affairs, a senior administration official said Thursday.

The official’s comment marks another change from Trump’s campaign rhetoric.

Word on the Hill: Day of Reason and/or Prayer?
New tech caucus, and staffer movement

California Rep. Ted Lieu wants to celebrate reason and logic. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., had his way, today would be a National Day of Reason as well as the National Day of Prayer.

Lieu introduced a bill in Congress in April that would declare May 4 to be a National Day of Reason as a secular alternative to the National Day of Prayer to recognize the importance of reason in the betterment of humanity, he said.

Trump Administration Ponders Demands of Wartime Footing
Steel, aluminum sector studies pegged to national security concerns

U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II fighter jets perform an aerial refueling mission off the coast of northwest Florida in 2013. The Lockheed Martin-made jets contain specialty aluminum products the Trump administration is concerned as it studies the needs a wartime military buildup would bring. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Donald R. Allen/via Wikimedia Commons)

The Trump administration, swept into office by its inward-focused “America First” message, is rattling its saber. President Donald Trump’s tough talk about North Korea and missile strikes in Syria get most of the attention, but his team is suddenly openly discussing what it would take to put key U.S. industries on a war footing.

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus describes his boss’s foreign policy as a mix of America First isolationism that helped him win the presidency, and a willingness to stand up to harsh dictators such as those in Syria and North Korea. At first glance, that definition of Trump’s foreign policy seems disjointed.

Opinion: The Biggest Mess in Washington? Not on Capitol Hill
Early legislative losses a bad omen for Trump administration

The fact that President Donald Trump is losing votes on Capitol Hill so early in his first year is a terrible omen for everything else he wants to do, Patricia Murphy writes. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

 

It’s early May in the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency and the White House is already out of juice on Capitol Hill. Mark May 2, 2017 as the day the cup ran dry. 

How Trump Became the Vacillator in Chief
Contradictions are rife in president’s first 100 days

President Donald Trump has oscillated between hard-line and more conciliatory positions over his first 100 days in office. (Composition by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump describes himself as “flexible.” A senior aide says the president does not flip-flop, but changes his mind because he is “not doctrinal” like previous occupants of the Oval Office.

It shows. And it drives Capitol Hill and the rest of official Washington crazy — unless you bill flummoxed clients by the hour.