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So what have we learned about President Trump so far?

January 24, 2017

 

SO here we are less than a week into Donald Trump’s presidency and what have we learned?

Well, it’s certainly going to be an interesting four years.

If Mr Trump is to stay true to his inauguration speech – and keeping promises would be one way to differentiate himself from other politicians – then he will be the most protectionist, isolationist American president in living memory.

President Trump said this last Friday: “For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry; subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military; we’ve defended other nations’ borders while refusing to defend our own; and spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay. We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon.

“From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first, America first. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.”

The new president said his economic plan to make America great again would follow ‘two simple rules: buy American and hire American”.

These are precisely the words Trump supporters wanted to hear, of course.

The rest of the world was left attempting to interpret what the president actually meant.

If you take his words literally then his much-vaunted promise of an early post-Brexit trade deal with the UK is so much hot air.

Maybe we will know more about how President Trump will deal with Britain after his meeting with Theresa May on Friday.

Hopefully we will know more than we learned from Michael Gove’s sycophantic interview with the president last week.

The Conservative MP made it clear the interview was carried out in his role as a Sunday Times columnist rather than as a politician.

A little tip for you Michael – posing for a gurning, thumbs-up photograph with your interviewee doesn’t do much for your journalistic credibility.

It may be that interviews with hand-picked questioners become a hallmark of Mr Trump’s presidency.

The president certainly has a problem with the media and, like a surly teenager on social media, he cannot resist taking a pop at anyone who reports or says anything with which he disagrees.

It is not how a statesman should behave, but the world has never seen a statesman like President Trump so the old rules do not apply.

If I was American, I would not have voted for Donald Trump. But I also would not have voted for Hillary Clinton. In my view, the Democrats missed a trick in not selecting Bernie Sanders as their presidential candidate.

However, I take the view that a democratically-elected president has to be given a chance before his presidency is condemned.

I don’t hold out a lot of hope for a Trump presidency but I might be entirely wrong.

And for the sake of America and the world at large, I hope I am.

 

GOOD WEEK…

For St David’s Hospice Care, chosen as the Argus’ charity for this newspaper’s 125th anniversary year.

The 125 Appeal aims to recruit 125 teams of fundraisers for the Newport-based hospice.

I’m sure the target will be achieved, given the huge generosity of Argus readers.

 

BAD WEEK…

For the White House press corps, by and large a hugely professional and knowledgeable group of people, who now look set to be blamed for pretty much everything by the new president.

They also have to deal with new White House press secretary Sean Spicer who appears to be the angriest man on the planet.

 

Ward's Week is published in the South Wales Argus every Tuesday.

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