“The Republican Party is being dramatically transformed,” said Foster Friess, a Wyoming investor and philanthropist who is among the party’s most significant donors. Republicans and Democrats alike, Mr. Friess said, had neglected “the people who truly make our country work — the truck drivers, farmers, welders, hospitality workers.” – Nicholas Confessore [New York Times]
WELL, THE New York Times had a WOWZA foreign policy interview with Donald Trump, conducted by David Sanger and Maggie Haberman. Coming after the Washington Post editorial board’s conversation, which wasn’t all that, this is one for the books.
I read the transcript so you don’t have to and this was one moment that stuck out though there were many that did.
What people don’t seem to understand is that the majority of Americans don’t vote on foreign policy specifics. They vote on the emotional feeling they get about a politician on whether he or she would be a strong American leader.
Trump’s doctrine revolves around strength with the details of his foreign policy to be filled in, which is what we saw during George W. Bush‘s rise. Military men are who Trump mentions though civilian leadership and independence from the Pentagon is what is most needed through the American presidency.
As you’ll see, details aren’t Trump’s thing. But he does have something in common with Bush 43. He thinks shopping is a very big deal.
The Iran Deal
SANGER: You have told us a lot about what your leverage would be over China in trade. Tell us on Iran: I know that you’ve said that you think that the Iran deal was an extremely bad deal. I’d be interested to know what your goals would be in renegotiating it. What your leverage would be and what you would renegotiate, what parts of the agreement.
TRUMP: Sure. It’s not just that it’s a bad deal, David. It’s a deal that could’ve been so much better just if they’d walked a couple of times. They negotiated so badly. They were being mocked, they were being scorned, they were being harassed, our negotiators, including Kerry, back in Iran, by the various representatives and the leaders of Iran at the highest level. And they never walked. They should’ve walked, doubled up the sanctions, and made a good deal. Gotten the prisoners out long before, not just after they gave the $150 billion. They should’ve never given the money back. There were so many things that were done, they were so, the negotiation was, and I think deals are fine, I think they’re good, not bad. But, you gotta make good deals, not bad deals. This deal was a disaster.
SANGER: So, it’s a deal you would inherit if you were elected, so what I’m trying to get at is, what would you insist on. Are the restrictions on nuclear not long enough, are the missile restrictions not strong enough?
TRUMP: Certainly the deal is not long enough. Because at the end of the deal they’re going to have great nuclear capability. So certainly the deal isn’t long enough. I would never have given them back the $150 billion under any circumstances. I would’ve never allowed that to happen. They are, they are now rich, and did you notice they’re buying from everybody but the United States? They’re buying planes, they’re buying everything, they’re buying from everybody but the United States. I would never have made the deal.
SANGER: Our law prevents us from selling to them, sir.
TRUMP: Uh, excuse me?
SANGER: Our law prevents us from selling any planes or, we still have sanctions in the U.S. that would prevent the U.S. from being able to sell that equipment.
TRUMP: So, how stupid is that? We give them the money, and we now say, “Go buy Airbus instead of Boeing,” right? So how stupid is that? In itself, what you just said, which is correct by the way, but would they now go and buy, you know, they bought 118 approximately, 118 Airbus planes. They didn’t buy Boeing planes, O.K.? We give them the money, and we say you can’t spend it in the United States, and create wealth and jobs in the United States. And on top of it, they didn’t, they in theory, I guess, cannot do that, you know, based on what I’ve understood. They can’t do that. It’s hard to believe. We gave them $150 billion and they can’t spend it in our country.
SANGER: So you would lift the domestic sanctions so they could buy American goods?
TRUMP: Well, I wouldn’t have given them back the money. So I wouldn’t be in that position. I would never have given them back the – that would never be a part of the negotiation. I would have never, ever given it to them, and I would’ve made a better deal than they made, without the money, and I would’ve made a better deal.
SANGER: And to stop the missile launches they’ve been doing?
TRUMP: Well, it’s ridiculous, I mean, now they’re doing missile launches, and they’re buying missiles from Russia, and they’re doing things that nobody thought were, you know, even permissible or in the deal, and they’re doing them.