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Donald Trump and his shadow diplomacy

Photo: Zoltan Fischer Press service of the Hungarian Prime Minister via Agence France-Presse On March 8, Donald Trump received Hungarian nationalist leader Viktor Orban at Mar-a-Lago, the only leader in the European Union to have maintained close ties with the Kremlin despite the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Léon Bruneau – Agence France-Presse in Washington

Posted at 6:47 a.m.

  • United States

He receives at his Mar-a-Lago palace when he is not in court or on the campaign trail, consulting and conducting discreet diplomacy while vehemently attacking Joe Biden's foreign policy.

Less than seven months before the November election, Donald Trump is distilling the soundbites, and denouncing the “great weakness” of the United States under his Democratic opponent, incapable, for example, of having dissuaded the 'Iran to carry out a massive attack against Israel.

“The weakness we are showing is unimaginable […] This attack should not have happened,” and “would not have happened if we were in charge,” he said. – he said on the evening of the attack on Saturday during a campaign rally.

The 77-year-old former president also uses his influence over the Republican Party to influence American diplomacy, as with Ukraine where his supporters in Congress have been blocking the vote for additional funds intended for kyiv for months.

Cameron, Orban and Duda

Behind the scenes, Donald Trump, assured of being the Republican candidate against Joe Biden, is busy and playing host in his luxurious residence in Florida or in his skyscraper in New York.

He met Polish President Andrzej Duda on Wednesday during a dinner at Trump Tower. “He did a fantastic job, he’s my friend and we had four great years together. Maybe we should start again,” said the former president in a video posted immediately on his Truth Social network.

Last week he also received the former Prime Minister and head of British diplomacy, David Cameron, who once described him as “misogynist and xenophobic”.

While it is not unusual for foreign dignitaries to see the opposition candidate from another country, in the case of Donald Trump it takes on a completely different flavor.

Europeans are particularly concerned that, if he were elected in November, he would turn his back on Europe and NATO, going back on Joe's stated multilateralism and Atlanticism Biden, as in his first term.

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David Cameron was less than forthcoming about the content of their meeting, referring to the “private” nature of the meeting, but the two men spoke about “the future of NATO”.

Donald Trump caused an uproar by saying he would encourage Russian President Vladimir Putin to “do whatever he wants” if a NATO member country failed to meet its financial commitments to alliance dominated by the United States.

In March, Donald Trump received Hungarian nationalist leader Viktor Orban, the only leader in the European Union to have maintained close ties with the Kremlin despite the Russian invasion of Ukraine.< /p>

He had, in an interview with the CNBC channel, hailed him as a “strong man”.

The New York Timeshas also reported that Mr. Trump recently spoke by telephone with the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman.

The Henchman

Trump loyalists are also in the mix, such as Richard Grenell, whom the American press cites as possible secretary of state in a second Trump administration.

Described as his “emissary,” Mr. Grenell made a discreet tour of Guatemala last January where, according to the Washington Post , met with conservative groups opposed to the inauguration of President Bernardo Arévalo, elected on an anti-corruption program.

He also visited Serbia where he is close to President Aleksandar Vucic.

Donald Trump's campaign team did not respond to requests from AFP in this regard.

Donald Trump and his shadow diplomacy

Photo: Justin Sullivan Getty Images via Agence France-Presse Richard Grenell, seen here at a political rally on October 8, 2022, is considered a possible secretary of state in a possible second Trump administration.

Richard Grenell, fierce defender of Donald Trump, is a former United States ambassador to Germany, who at the time caused much tension in this country, and former acting director of American Intelligence . He was also the former president's emissary for Kosovo and Serbia.

Mr. Grenell is a partner with Jared Kushner, son-in-law and former advisor to Donald Trump, in a luxury real estate investment project in Serbia and Albania.

Speaking before the high mass of American conservatives, CPAC, last February, he pleaded in favor of a foreign policy which “finds the means to increase trade which will make us safer”, Donald Trump championing “America first”.

“To avoid war, it is better to have a son of… as a diplomat,” he also said, while Trump supporters argue that there were no wars under his mandate between 2017 and 2021.

Trump's first term was marked by his break with multilateral agreements such as on the climate or Iranian nuclear power, the fight against migrants with the “wall” in Mexico, the imposition of all-out customs tariffs and singular meetings including with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

How about a second ?

In the absence of a program, it boils down a bit to saying: “'this would not have happened on my watch, and if I were president, I would resolve things immediately'”, underlines Brian Finucane , from the International Crisis Group in Washington.

“But it’s still light on details,” adds the expert.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116