aside Diplomatically Challenged President-elect Donald Trump Is Like A Bull In A China Shop

Image result for cartoon trump and world leadersThe republican President-elect is not winning high marks by the U.S. state department for his tact and understanding of accepted protocols when interacting with dignitaries from around the world. His free wheeling calls to foreign heads of state is turning the world of diplomacy on its head.

Mark Landler writes about the repercussions that are already occurring because of President-elect Donald Trump’s initial contacts with foreign leaders, for the 12/1/16 NY Time’s article, Trump’s Breezy Calls to World Leaders Leave Diplomats Aghast.” Here are excerpts:

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PM  Sharif

“In a remarkably candid readout of the phone call, the Pakistani government said Mr. Trump had told Mr. (Prime Minister Nawaz) Sharif that he was “a terrific guy” who made him feel as though “I’m talking to a person I have known for long.” He described Pakistanis as “one of the most intelligent people.” When Mr. Sharif invited him to visit Pakistan, the president-elect replied that he would “love to come to a fantastic country, fantastic place of fantastic people.”

“The Trump transition office, in its more circumspect readout, said only that Mr. Trump and Mr. Sharif “had a productive conversation about how the United States and Pakistan will have a strong working relationship in the future.” It did not confirm or deny the Pakistani account of Mr. Trump’s remarks.”

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PM Nawaz Sharif

“The breezy tone of the readout left diplomats in Washington slack-jawed, with some initially assuming it was a parody. In particular, they zeroed in on Mr. Trump’s offer to Mr. Sharif “to play any role you want me to play to address and find solutions to the country’s problems.”

“That was interpreted by some in India as an offer by the U.S. to mediate Pakistan’s border dispute with India in Kashmir, something that the Pakistanis have long sought and that India has long resisted.”

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PM Sharif and Daughter (Top right) / family photos

“By taking such a cavalier attitude to these calls, he’s encouraging people not to take him seriously,” said Daniel F. Feldman, a former special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan. “He’s made himself not only a bull in a china shop, but a bull in a nuclear china shop.”

“Husain Haqqani, a former Pakistani ambassador to Washington, said his government’s decision to release a rough transcript of Mr. Trump’s remarks was a breach of protocol that demonstrated how easily Pakistani leaders misread signals from their American counterparts.”Image result for Nawaz Sharif Daughter Marriage

“Pakistan is one country where knowing history and details matters most,” Mr. Haqqani said, “and where the U.S. cannot afford to give wrong signals, given the history of misunderstandings.”

“At one level, Mr. Trump’s warm sentiments were surprising, given that during the campaign, he called for temporarily barring Muslims from entering the United States to avoid importing would-be terrorists.”

“His conversation with Mr. Sharif also came a day after an attack at Ohio State University in which a Somali-born student, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, rammed a car into a group of pedestrians and slashed several people with a knife before being shot and killed by the police. Law enforcement officials said Mr. Artan, whom the Islamic State has claimed as a “soldier,” had lived in Pakistan for seven years before coming to the United States in 2014.”

“Mr. Obama never visited Pakistan as president, even though he had a circle of Pakistani friends in college and spoke fondly of the country. The White House weighed a visit at various times but always decided against it, according to officials, because of security concerns or because it would be perceived as rewarding Pakistani leaders for what many American officials said was their lack of help in fighting terrorism.”

“It sends a powerful message to the people of a country when the president of the United States goes to visit,” Mr. Earnest said. “That’s true whether it’s some of our closest allies, or that’s also true if it’s a country like Pakistan, with whom our relationship is somewhat more complicated.”

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President Nursultan Nazarbayev

“Mr. Trump’s call with President Nursultan A. Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan raised similar questions.”

“Mr. Nazarbayev has ruled his country with an iron hand since 1989, first as head of the Communist Party and later as president after Kazakhstan won its independence from the Soviet Union. In April 2015, he won a fifth term, winning 97.7 percent of the vote and raising suspicions of fraud.”

“The Kazakh government, in its account of Mr. Trump’s conversation, said he had lavished praise on the president for his leadership of the country over the last 25 years. “D. Trump stressed that under the leadership of Nursultan Nazarbayev, our country over the years of independence had achieved fantastic success that can be called a ‘miracle,’” it said.”Image result for photo president nursultan a. nazarbayev of kazakhstan

“The statement went on to say that Mr. Trump had shown solidarity with the Kazakh government over its decision to voluntarily surrender the nuclear arsenal it inherited from the Soviets. “There is no more important issue than the nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation, which must be addressed in a global context,” it quoted Mr. Trump as saying.”

“Mr. Trump’s statement said that Mr. Nazarbayev had congratulated him on his victory, and that Mr. Trump had reciprocated by congratulating him on the 25th anniversary of his country. Beyond that, it said only that the two leaders had “addressed the importance of strengthening regional partnerships.”

President Tsai Ing-wen

On 12/2/16 Ann Gearan of the Washington Post offers details about a discussion between the President -elect Trump and the Taiwanese president. Here are excerpts:

“President-elect Donald Trump spoke Friday with Taiwan’s president, a major departure from decades of U.S. policy in Asia and a breach of diplomatic protocol with ramifications for the incoming president’s relations with China.”

“Trump spoke by phone with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said. The conversation was first reported by the Financial Times and the Taipei Times.”

“The call is the first known contact between a U.S. president or president-elect with a Taiwanese leader since the United States broke diplomatic relations with the island in 1979. China considers Taiwan a province, and news of the official outreach by Trump is likely to infuriate the regional military and economic power.”

The fall out is just beginning.


  1. He probably called to invite them all to stay at one of his fabulous Hotels the next time they come visit. In a few phone calls, Trump has probably had more foreign contact with these leaders than Obama did in his last 4 years. What fall out? People need to get over nit picking every little thing Trump is doing before he is even the sitting president. Let’s just wait and see how it all plays out, shall we?

    • Dear Once Written,

      He’ll have his chance. But becoming president of all the peoples is no small deal. I for one hopes that he succeeds beyond my wildest dreams but I am not holding my breath in the meantime.

      I am one of those who plans to join the “million women march” on January 21. I will protest; blog; call and write my legislators; write media editors and I will add my voice whenever he acts in a way that is counter to what he promised his followers.

      I will not sit down and play nice. I will be vigilant. I am of the trust but verify frame of mind. I would feel this way about anyone who ran the scorched earth campaign that he ran. He upset a lot of folks with his rhetoric and I am one of them.

      Americans are fair minded. If he delivers the goods, they will give him the credit he deserves. But he’d better deliver or he’ll know that there are folks out there who will do their patriotic duty of holding him accountable for his actions.

      We shall see what the future holds and let’s pray for the best, Gronda

      • Did Obama get that kind of scrutiny? He sucked as president. You didn’t see people marching and carrying on like this? The liberal media will just continue to spin it out of control as they have done for the past 12 monhs, I don’t think that will change.

        • Dear Once Written,

          I was a republican until very recently. I have become disillusioned as too many in this once Party of Lincoln, condoned those on the right who accused President Obama of not being an American citizen; of having really been born in Kenya, of being a Muslim instead of a Christian. I received notice that the republicans planned to oppose all legislation initiated by President Obama before he ever stepped one inch into the WH.
          With my own eyes, I saw tea party protests with folks carrying signs that were racist like our president being lynched.

          Our current president-elect was the chief architect of the “birther movement” against President Obama who was voted into office twice with a majority of the popular vote and the electoral college vote.

          I am not one who is going to pretend that our president-elect is without flaws.

          Again, this is just one of these times that we will have to respectfully disagree.

          With Warmest Wishes, Gronda

        • Well, just like Hillary was only voted to lead the democratic party in hope of becoming the “first female president”, Obama, too, was largely voted into office as the “first black president”. I don’t consider myself racist and I think a large number of Americans have just grown tired of the political status quo. We stayed quiet waiting to have ‘our turn’ while this country watched millions of jobs lost and companies fleeing overseas on Obamas watch. Now, everyone and anyone critizing Trump throws out the racist, xenophobe, etc. cards because they are so pissed that Trump won the election. I wouldn’t consider myself Democrate or Republican, for I usually vote on people who I think will lead this country in the right direction. I’m hopeful that Trump will turn things around for most. The whole birther movement and most all other ‘media spins’ are just a big liberal smoke-screen designed to confuse some, but not everyone.

        • Dear Once Written,

          The “birther Movement” headed by our president -elect showed disrespect to our American President. This is a matter of history and fact which will unfortunately be reflected in our history books. This is not media spin.

          I am not acting against folks like yourself who voted for their pocket books and for whomever they believed would improve their lot, but this does not mean that I will deny history or what I have seen with my own eyes and have heard with my own ears.

          Let’s agree to disagree. I can concur, that if DT lives up to his promises of creating lots of good paying jobs, that he will receive the credit due him.

          With Warmest Wishes, Gronda

  2. Gronda, the attorney who worked for Trump and pleaded that we not vote for him said it was appalling that a man who was interviewing for the most important job in the world would not invest the time to learn the job. He is now elected and his lack of preparedness for these calls is showing how dangerous that is. Some calls should not be taken, some should be prioritized and some need to be scripted or at least planned.

    Yet, as a mention in your piece on conflicts of interest, Trump has not been one to do much due diligence. So, he has made many bad decisions leading to bankruptcy and business failures. Remember this real estate expert started a mortgage company in the middle of the housing crisis. Guess what, it failed.

    Our ambassadors will become the hardest working people over the next four years, clearing up miscommunications, sleights, offenses, etc.

    “We’ve only just begun,” sang The Carpenters. Holds true here. Great post, Keith

  3. Dear Keith,

    He messed up and all his surrogates are cleaning up after him.

    You are so right. Those who are in the diplomacy business will be fully occupied. It will be years before we live down this American fubar.

    Ciao, Gronda

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