Republican front-runner Donald Trump vowed on Wednesday to seek better relations with Russia and China if elected president in November and said he would make U.S. allies bear more of the financial burden for their defense.
In a major speech, Trump delivered a withering critique of Barack Obama’s foreign policy, saying the Democratic president has let China take advantage of the United States and has failed to defeat Islamic State militants. He pledged to “shake the rust off America’s foreign policy.”
The New York billionaire spoke the day after victories in five Northeastern states that moved him closer to capturing the Republican Party presidential nomination for the Nov. 8 election.
With U.S.-Russian relations strained over numerous issues including Moscow’s support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Trump said “an easing of tensions with Russia from a position of strength” is possible.
Trump, a real estate magnate, also said he would use U.S. economic leverage to persuade China to rein in North Korea’s nuclear program.
“China respects strength and by letting them take advantage of us economically we have lost all their respect,” he said.
Trump said he would call separate summits of NATO and Asian allies to discuss a “rebalancing” of the U.S. financial commitment to their defense.
He was stern in charging that American allies have benefited from a U.S. defense umbrella but have not paid their fair share.
“The countries we defend must pay for the cost of this defense. If not, the U.S. must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves. We have no choice,” Trump said.
Trump, a reality TV star, has never held elected office and has built support – particularly among white working class voters – with a no-nonsense style and populist pledges to “make America great again.”
He set aside his rancorous campaign rhetoric for his address on foreign policy, delivered at a downtown Washington hotel.
Trump usually speaks in an off-the-cuff manner, but he delivered Wednesday’s speech with the aid of a teleprompter as he sought to make himself appealing to more Republican voters.
(Additional reporting by David Brunnstrom, Matt Spetalnick, Warren Strobel and Richard Cowan, Susan Heavey, Doina Chiacu; Editing by Frances Kerry)
Japan wants to dump Fukushima radioactive water into ocean
Japan's top government spokesman slapped down the environment minister on Tuesday after he said there was "no other option" but to release radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean.
"It is not true that we have decided on the disposal method," Chief Cabinet Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters after Environment Minister Yoshiaki Harada's comments earlier in the day.
The operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), is storing more than one million tonnes of contaminated water in tanks at the site of Fukushima Daiichi Plant that was wrecked by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown.
Here’s one big reason why Trump is having a white-hot meltdown over the Fed not dropping interest rates
President Donald Trump has a personal conflict-of-interest that may be impacting his decisions in his public feud with Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.
"President Trump stands to save millions of dollars annually in interest on outstanding loans on his hotels and resorts if the Federal Reserve lowers rates as he has been demanding, according to public filings and financial experts," The Washington Post reported Saturday.
Trump approves of North Korea missile tests: ‘I have no problem’ because they’re just ‘short-range missiles’
On Thursday, in conversation with reporters, President Donald Trump said that he had 'no problem' with North Korea's new round of missile tests.
"Short-range missiles, we never made an agreement on that," said Trump. "I have no problem, we'll see what happens, but these are short-range missiles. They're very standard."
The thought that short-range missiles would still be capable of hitting our allies in the region, like South Korea and Japan, does not seem to have occurred to him.
Trump says he has "no problem" with North Korea testing missiles because they are just "short-range missiles" that are "very standard." pic.twitter.com/fdKtQ6yrBE