What a difference a year makes in international diplomacy.
A year ago, then-US President Donald Trump was obliged to abandon his plans for a G7 summit at the presidential retreat of Camp David outside Washington.
Various excuses were advanced by participants, including the inadvisability of travelling across the world in the midst of a pandemic. But in reality few, if any, G7 leaders wanted to associate themselves with Trump in what was hoped would be the last days of an ill-starred presidency.
A year later, these same leaders gathered at an English coastal retreat – in the shadow of a persistent COVID-19 pandemic – to celebrate the end of a disruptive chapter in diplomatic history. Relief was palpable in the interactions of representatives of the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, Italy and Canada.
America was back, not in its “America First" guise, but as the proclaimed leader of the free world, to use an old-fashioned description.
However, in the four years of the Trump presidency, during which Washington effectively abandoned its global leadership role in favour of an inward-looking posture defined by its embrace of an America First doctrine, the world had changed, and shifted dramatically.
When Lara Trump was a guest on Jeanine Pirro's Fox News show, "Justice with Judge Jeanine" on June 12, she slammed the Biden Administration for its immigration and U.S./Mexico border policies — and singled out Vice President Kamala Harris. Vanity Fair's Bess Levin, in a scathing column published on June 14, finds that claim ironic in light of how badly her father-in-law, former President Donald Trump, handled immigration policy during his four years in the White House.
Lara Trump, who is married to Eric Trump (one of the former president's sons and a Trump Organization executive), told Pirro that President Joe Biden only picked Harris because she is a woman — an attack Levin describes as "wildly misogynistic." Trump said of Harris, "I guess she assumed that she could just skirt by without doing anything…. We knew that Joe Biden was going to pick a woman as his running mate because all they do is virtue signal on the left, and this is the problem when that is your M.O. — when you actually don't care about their qualifications or preparedness for a job."
Levin, in response, slams Lara Trump's Fox News appearance as a perfect example of how out-of-touch members of the Trump family are.
The Vanity Fair columnist writes, "Something you may have picked up on between 2016 and 2020 is that Donald Trump was laughably unqualified to be president and didn't get better as the years went on. In addition to having no prior relevant experience whatsoever upon entering the White House — weirdly, a failed line of steaks and vodka doesn't count — he was almost defiantly ignorant about what the gig entailed and refused to educate himself in a way that would have benefited the country. So, it's a little rich to hear a Trump family member claim someone — anyone! — currently working in the federal government doesn't know what they're doing. But hey, that's them — i.e., the most un-self-aware people to walk the planet."
The 38-year-old Lara Trump, during her interview with Pirro, did echo one thing Harris said during her recent visit to Guatemala and Mexico. The vice president and former U.S. senator advised Guatemalan refugees against simply showing up at the U.S./Mexico border, as it's a dangerous trip — and Trump told Pirro, "These people should never make this dangerous journey here." Unlike Harris, however, Trump implied that Americans living near the border should arm themselves because of illegal border crossings.
Trump told Pirro, "I guess they better arm up and get guns and be ready, and maybe they're going to have to start taking matters into their own hands."
Levin, in her column, responds, "Of course, Trump wasn't on the show just to claim a former state attorney general and U.S. senator doesn't have any qualifications to be vice president. She also stopped by to seemingly suggest people living at the border should shoot migrants they see crossing…. Which is perhaps an idea she got from her father-in-law, who in March 2019, openly mused about shooting migrants, and his disappointment that only 'other countries' are officially allowed to do that."
Conservative Newsmax host Greg Kelly facing investigation over controversial tweets that may 'appeal to racists'
Newsmax host Greg Kelly is now at the center of an investigation being conducted by the conservative news network following a string of tweets he posted and deleted on Sunday about racism and the U.S. military.
On Monday, June 14, Newsmax spokesperson Brian Peterson released a statement addressing the situation as he acknowledged Kelly's tweets that appeared to "appeal to racists." According to the network, Kelly, a retired U.S. Marine Corps Reserve lieutenant colonel, posted a series of tweets that may have crossed the line, New York Daily News reports.
"We understand a series of tweets were posted by Mr. Kelly that, in their totality, indicated his opposition to racism. We at Newsmax never countenance the posting of racist views or views that appeal to racists. We are currently reviewing the matter," Peterson said in the statement.
While Kelly deleted most of his Sunday evening tweets, The Washington Post did manage to capture one before it was removed. It read, "Military life had its Perks, but it was also a major pain. I will tell you what took 'the sting out of it' – that when I was flying around the Pacific Ocean off of ships, I knew there was a Secretary of Defense who was white, just like me! Made a big difference with 'morale.'"
Reports about Kelly's series of deleted tweets have also confirmed other remarks he made at the time.
"So that's the USS America aircraft carrier that I'm 'fixin' to land on," Kelly reportedly wrote in another tweet. "Just knowing that President Clinton, who was in office at the time, was a Caucasian male made it 'all worthwhile' – ask any white male officer who served under him. So appreciative of his Race were we."
Kelly's presumed attempt at damage control also drew more criticism and skeptical reactions when he made a reference to late New York City Mayor David Dinkins (D), a Black man, who officiated Kelly's wedding.
"Now the TRUTH: being a MARINE had nothing to do with RACE. It didn't matter. It wasn't "a thing"—the EXPERIENCE brought us together, no matter what we were," he wrote. "The late Mayor David Dinkens, a WWII Marine, and hence, my brother. Below in 1991, and officiating my wedding in 2017."
According to the publication, critics suggested that remark invoked "the problematic proposition that a white person with a Black friend can't possibly be racist."
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