According to CNN analyst Nic Robertson, Donald Trump’s inexplicable plan to withdraw 12,000 troops from Germany is a parting gift to Vladimir Putin that has the added benefit of angering a staunch U.S. ally much to the delight of the Russian strongman.
Noting that the president re-election prospects are in “freefall,” Roberson called Trump, “the gift that keeps on giving for the Kremlin: his unpredictability, while often a pain, for them is continual grist for their propaganda mill.”
At issue has been the president’s contentious relationship with Germany’s Angela Merkel who he considers a rival on the world stage, which has led to several years of confrontations.
“The reality is Trump has bullied German Chancellor Angela Merkel from the get-go, and not just on Germany’s sub-par defence spending commitment of 1.38% of GDP, but about exports of BMW cars and trade in general,” he wrote. “At their first meeting in the White House in spring 2017 the President barely looked Merkel in the eye, refusing to shake her hand; at a NATO summit in 2018 he berated her over breakfast. And now this.”
“Whatever Trump’s motive, be it petulance or indeed a strategic pivot to Asia, as [Defense Secretary] Esper has explained in recent weeks, the reality leaves allies rattled and runs counter to the US’s long-term benefit; now those European countries must look to themselves for defense — not for a quick fix, but as a major strategic shift,” Robertson explained. “Trump hasn’t caused a common European defense agreement to spring up overnight but he has compressed the wait until there is one, and none of this is good for America right now.”
He went on to note that it is unlikely the president will back off on his decision which has been widely criticized, saying one need only look at how badly Trump has managed the coronavirus pandemic and his refusal to change course or take responsibility for it.
‘This is a big deal’: Iowa Gov. ends voting ban for people with felony convictions
The new executive order means there is now no U.S. state categorically banning people with former convictions from voting.
In a development heralded as "a historic sea change," Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed an executive order on Wednesday overturning the state's policy of permanently banning those with felony convictions from voting.
"Today we take a significant step forward in acknowledging the importance of redemption, second chances, and the need to address inequalities in our justice system," said Reynolds, a Republican, whose order (pdf) is expected to restore voting rights to roughly 40,000 people.
‘So many bootlicking hacks’: Trump campaign ignites mockery with ‘hilarious’ list of potential debate moderators
Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani on Wednesday asked the Commission on Presidential Debates to move up the last presidential debate to the first week in September, according to Axios. In his letter to the commission, he also included a list of suggested moderators.
The list included several mainstream journalists, such as Norah O'Donnell of CBS News and David Muir of ABC News. But it also contained a number of right-wing pundits, like Hugh Hewitt.
Trump’s unhinged fans get even more detached from reality as his chances fade
A pandemic is spiraling out of control and Donald Trump's reaction is to roll his eyes and say, "It is what it is." Unsurprisingly, polling data shows that his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, is pulling ahead, not just in national polls, but in a number of battleground states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Florida, none of which Trump can afford to lose. After all, the incumbent has nothing real to run on. The economy is the worst it's been since the Great Depression of the 1930s, Americans are losing health insurance by the millions, and Republicans are responding by trying to shortchange unemployment benefits for the millions of people who've lost their jobs.