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Donald Trump on Foreign Policy

2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President

  
 


China should make Kim Jong Un disappear

Trump was asked how he would respond to North Korea's nuclear threat. "I would get China to make that guy disappear in one form or another very quickly," Trump said. He didn't clarify whether disappearing was equivalent to being assassinated but said, "Well, I've heard of worse things, frankly."

"I mean, this guy's a bad dude, and don't underestimate him," Trump said, referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "Any young guy who can take over from his father with all those generals and everybody else that probably want the position, this is not somebody to be underestimated."

Trump maintained that China has control over North Korea and the US has control over China--thus "China should do that," he said. "China has control--absolute control--over North Korea. They don't say it, but they do," Trump explained. "And they should make that problem disappear. China is sucking us dry. They're taking our money. They're taking our jobs. We have rebuilt China with what they've taken out."

Source: Nolan McCaskill on Politico.com , Feb 10, 2016

China totally controls North Korea; they're just taunting us

Without China, North Korea doesn't even eat. China is ripping us on trade. They're devaluing their currency and they're killing our companies. We've lost between four and seven million jobs because of China. What I said then was, "we have very unfair trade with China. We're going to have a trade deficit of 505 billion dollars this year with China. I would start taxing goods that come in from China.
Source: Fox Business Republican 2-tier debate , Jan 14, 2016

Ignore career diplomats who insist on nuance

The career diplomats who got us into many foreign policy messes say I have no experience in foreign policy. They think that successful diplomacy requires years of experience and an understanding of all the nuances that have been carefully considered before reaching a conclusion. Only then do these pin-striped bureaucrats CONSIDER taking action.

Look at the state of the world right now. It's a terrible mess, and that's putting it kindly. There has never been a more dangerous time. The so-called insiders within the Washington ruling class are the people who got us into trouble. So why should we continue to pay attention to them?

Here's what I know--what we are doing now isn't working. And years ago, when I was just starting out in business, I figured out a pretty simple approach that has always worked well for me: "When you're digging yourself deeper and deeper into a hole, stop digging."

Source: Crippled America, by Donald Trump, p. 31-2 , Nov 3, 2015

Reimbursement for US military bases in rich countries abroad

As for nations that host US. military bases, Trump said he would charge those governments for the American presence. "I'm going to renegotiate some of our military costs because we protect South Korea. We protect Germany. We protect some of the wealthies countries in the world, Saudi Arabia. We protect everybody and we don't get reimbursement. We lose on everything, so we're going to negotiate and renegotiate trade deals, military deals, many other deals that's going to get the cost down for running our country very significantly."

Trump then got into a specific example: Saudi Arabia, one of the more important US allies in the Middle East. Saudis "make a billion dollars a day. We protect them. So we need help. We are losing a tremendous amount of money on a yearly basis and we owe $19 trillion," he said.

Walking back trade deals and agreements that allow the US military to operate overseas is easier said than done. But Trump has tapped into a powerful anti-Washington populist sentiment.

Source: Foreign Policy Magazine on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 28, 2015

Diplomacy & respect crucial to our relationship with Russia

Q: This week we're going to see a lot of world leaders come to Manhattan. Might you have a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin?

TRUMP: Well, I had heard that he wanted to meet with me. And certainly I am open to it. I don't know that it's going to take place, but I know that people have been talking. We'll see what happens. But certainly, if he wanted to meet, I would love to do that. You know, I've been saying relationship is so important in business, that it's so important in deals, and so important in the country. And if President Obama got along with Putin, that would be a fabulous thing. But they do not get along. Putin does not respect our president. And I'm sure that our president does not like him very much.

Source: Meet the Press 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 20, 2015

Putin has no respect for America; I will get along with him

Q: What would you do right now if you were president, to get the Russians out of Syria?

TRUMP: Number one, they have to respect you. He has absolutely no respect for President Obama. Zero. I would talk to him. I would get along with him. I believe I would get along with a lot of the world leaders that this country is not getting along with. I think I will get along with Putin, and I will get along with others, and we will have a much more stable world.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

We must deal with the maniac in North Korea with nukes

[With regards to the Iranian nuclear deal]: Nobody ever mentions North Korea where you have this maniac sitting there and he actually has nuclear weapons and somebody better start thinking about North Korea and perhaps a couple of other places. You have somebody right now in North Korea who has got nuclear weapons and who is saying almost every other week, "I'm ready to use them." And we don't even mention it.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

Cuban embargo: 50 years is enough

Breaking ranks with nearly all of his fellow 2016 Republican contenders, Donald Trump says he supports President Barack Obama's decision to reengage diplomatically with Cuba. "50 years is enough," Trump said, referring to Obama's decision to re-establish U.S. ties with Cuba. "I think it's fine, but we should have made a better deal," Trump added. "The concept of opening with Cuba is fine."

Trump joins libertarian-leaning Sen. Rand Paul as the only Republican running for president to express his support for normalizing relations with Cuba. The rest of the GOP field has slammed Obama's decision to reopen the U.S. embassy in Havana and engage diplomatically with the government of Cuba.

Source: Jeremy Diamond on CNN , Sep 8, 2015

Support NATO, but it's not us against Russia

Q: You wrote, "Pulling back from Europe would save this country millions of dollars annually. The cost of stationing NATO troops in Europe is enormous. And these are clearly funds that can be put to better use." Would you want to end the NATO alliance completely?

TRUMP: I'm a little concerned about NATO from this standpoint. Take Ukraine. We're leading Ukraine. Where's Germany? Where are the countries of Europe leading? I don't mind helping them. Why isn't Germany leading this charge? Why is the United States? I mean, we're like the policemen of the world. And why are we leading the charge in Ukraine?

Q: So you wouldn't allow Ukraine into NATO?

TRUMP: I would not care that much. Whether it goes in or doesn't go in, I wouldn't care. Look, I would support NATO.

Q: It sounds like you're not a fan of NATO

TRUMP: I'm a fan of fairness. I'm a fan of common sense. I'm certainly not a fan of us being against Russia. Why are we always at the forefront of everything?

Source: Meet the Press 2015 interview, Chuck Todd and Donald Trump , Aug 17, 2015

China is our enemy; they're bilking us for billions

China is bilking us for hundreds of billions of dollars by manipulating and devaluing its currency. Despite all the happy talk in Washington, the Chinese leaders are not our friends. I've been criticized for calling them our enemy. But what else do you call the people who are destroying your children's and grandchildren's future? What name would you prefer me to use for the people who are hell bent on bankrupting our nation, stealing our jobs, who spy on us to steal our technology, who are undermining our currency, and who are ruining our way of life? To my mind, that's an enemy. If we're going to make America number one again, we've got to have a president who knows how to get tough with China, how to out-negotiate the Chinese, and how to keep them from screwing us at every turn.
Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p. 2 , Dec 5, 2011

When you love America, you protect it with no apologies

I love America. And when you love something, you protect it passionately--fiercely, even. We are the greatest country the world has ever known. I make no apologies for this country, my pride in it, or my desire to see us become strong and rich again. After all, wealth funds our freedom. But for too long we've been pushed around, used by other countries, and ill-served by politicians in Washington who measure their success by how rapidly they can expand the federal debt, and your tax burden, with their favorite government programs.

American can do better. I think we deserve the best. That's why I decided to write this book. The decisions we face are too monumental, too consequential, to just let slide. I have answers for the problems that confront us. I know how to make American rich again.

Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p. 7 , Dec 5, 2011

By 2027, tsunami as China overtakes US as largest economy

There is a lot that Obama and his globalist pals don't want you to know about China's strength. But no one who knows the truth can sit back and ignore how dangerous this economic powerhouse will be if our so-called leaders in Washington don't get their acts together and start standing up for American jobs and stop outsourcing them to China. It's been predicted that by 2027, China will overtake the United States as the world's biggest economy--much sooner if the Obama economy's disastrous trends continue. That means in a handful of years, America will be engulfed by the economic tsunami that is the People's Republic of China--my guess is by 2016 if we don't act fast.

For the past thirty years, China's economy has grown an average 9 to 10 percent each year. In the first quarter of 2011 alone, China's economy grew a robust 9.7 percent. America's first quarter growth rate? An embarrassing and humiliating 1.9 percent. It's a national disgrace.

Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p. 30 , Dec 5, 2011

Things change; empires come and go

A lot of life is about survival of the fittest and adaption, as Darwin pointed out. It's not all there is, but it's an indication of how the world has evolved in historical terms. We've seen many empires come and go--the Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire- there have always been surges of power. Sometimes they last for centuries. Even so, some of us have never learned of them as of today. In other words, things change. We have to keep up with the changes and move forward.
Source: Think Like a Champion, by Donald Trump, p. 23-4 , Apr 27, 2010

Criticized Buchananís view on Hitler as appeasement

In Buchananís book, he actually said the Western allies were wrong to stop Hitler. He argued that we should have let Hitler take all of the territories to his east. What of the systematic annihilation of Jews, Catholics, and Gypsies in those countries? You donít have to be a genius to know that we were next, that once Hitler seized control of the countries to his east he would focus on world domination.

Pat Buchanan was actually preaching the same policy of appeasement that had failed for Neville Chamberlain at Munich. If we used Buchananís theory on Hitler as a foreign policy strategy, we would have appeased every world dictator with a screw loose and weíd have a brainwashed population ready to go postal on command.

After I [wrote an article on this for] Face the Nation, Buchanan accused me of ďignorance.Ē Buchanan, who believes himself an expert, has also called Hitler ďa political organizer of the first rank.Ē Buchanan is a fan.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.267-68 , Jul 2, 2000

Post-Cold War: switch from chess player to dealmaker

In the modern world you canít very easily draw up a simple, general foreign policy. I was busy making deals during the last decade of the cold war. Now the game has changed. The day of the chess player is over. Foreign policy has to be put in the hands of a dealmaker.

Two dealmakers have served as president-one was Franklin Roosevelt, who got us through WWII, and the other was Richard Nixon, who forced the Russians to the bargaining table to achieve the first meaningful reductions in nuclear arms.

A dealmaker can keep many balls in the air, weigh the competing interests of other nations, and above all, constantly put Americaís best interests first. The dealmaker knows when to be tough and when to back off. He knows when to bluff and he knows when to threaten, understanding that you threaten only when prepared to carry out the threat. The dealmaker is cunning, secretive, focused, and never settles for less than he wants. Itís been a long time since America had a president like that.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.111-12 , Jul 2, 2000

Support Russia, but with strings attached

I donít understand why American policymakers are always so timid in dealing with Russia on issues that directly involve our survival. Kosovo was a perfect case in point: Russia was holding out its hand for billions of dollars in IMF loans (to go along with billions in aid the U.S. has given) the same week it was issuing threats and warnings regarding our conduct in the Balkans. We need to tell Russia and other recipients that if they want our dime they had better do our dance, at least in matters regarding our national security. These people need us much more than we need them. We have leverage, and we are crazy not to use it to better advantage.

Few respect weakness. Ultimately we have to deal with hostile nations in the only language they know: unshrinking conviction and the military power to back it up if need be. There and in that order are Americaís two greatest assets in foreign affairs.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.134 , Jul 2, 2000

China: lack of human rights prevents consumer development

Why am I concerned with political rights? Iím a good businessman and I can be amazingly unsentimental when I need to be. I also recognize that when it comes down to it, we canít do much to change a nationís internal policies. But Iím unwilling to shrug off the mistreatment of Chinaís citizens by their own government. My reason is simple: These oppressive policies make it clear that Chinaís current government has contempt for our way of life.

We want to trade with China because of the size of its consumer market. But if the regime continues to repress individual freedoms, how many consumers will there really be? Isnít it inconsistent to compromise our principles by negotiating trade with a country that may not want and cannot afford our goods?

We have to make it absolutely clear that weíre willing to trade with China, but not to trade away our principles, and that under no circumstances will we keep our markets open to countries that steal from us.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.119 & 123 , Jul 2, 2000

Be tougher on China-weíre too eager to please

Our biggest long-term challenge will be China. The Chinese people still have few political rights to speak of. Chinese government leaders, though they concede little, desperately want us to invest in their country. Though we have the upper hand, weíre way to eager to please. We see them as a potential market and we curry favor with them at the expense of our national interests. Our China policy under Presidents Clinton and Bush has been aimed at changing the Chinese regime by incentives both economic and political. The intention has been good, but itís clear that the Chinese have been getting far too easy a ride.

Despite the opportunity, I think we need to take a much harder look at China. There are major problems that too many at the highest reaches of business want to overlook, [primarily] the human-rights situation.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.117-18 , Jul 2, 2000


Donald Trump on Mideast

Don't take sides with Israel, so we can lead negotiations

Q: You said about the ongoing conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians -- "Let me be sort of a neutral guy. I don't want to say whose fault it is; I don't think it helps." How do you remain neutral when the U.S. considers Israel to be America's closest ally in the Middle East?

TRUMP: President Obama has treated Israel horribly. I have very close ties to Israel. I've received the Tree of Life Award and many of the greatest awards given by Israel. As president, however, there's nothing that I would rather do to bring peace to Israel and its neighbors generally. And I think it serves no purpose to say that you have a good guy and a bad guy. Now, I may not be successful in doing it. It's probably the toughest negotiation anywhere in the world of any kind. But it doesn't help if I start saying, "I am very pro-Israel." It doesn't do any good to start demeaning the neighbors, because I would love to do something with regard to negotiating peace, finally, for Israel and for their neighbors.

Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary , Feb 25, 2016

I could negotiate a deal with Israel and Palestinians

RUBIO: He thinks a Palestine [and Israeli settlement] is a real estate deal. The Palestinians are not a real estate deal, Donald.

TRUMP: A deal is a deal. Let me tell you that. I learned a long time ago.

RUBIO: A deal is not a deal when you're dealing with terrorists. Have you ever negotiated with terrorists?

TRUMP: I'm a negotiator. I've done very well over the years through negotiation. It's very important that we do that. In all fairness, Marco is not a negotiator. I watched him melt down and I'll tell you, it was one of the saddest things I've ever seen. You will never bring peace.

Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary , Feb 25, 2016

Figure out who our allies are

Q: What three questions do you ask your national security experts?

TRUMP: What we want to do, when we want to do it, and how hard do we want to hit? We are going to have to hit hard to knock out ISIS. We're going to have to learn who our allies are. We have allies, we have no idea who they are in Syria. Do we want to stay that route, or do we want to go and make something with Russia?

Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina , Feb 13, 2016

Iran deal is one of the worst I've ever seen

Sen. Ted CRUZ: If you look at the threats facing this country, the single gravest threat, national security threat, is the threat of a nuclear Iran. That's why I've pledged on day one to rip to shreds this Iranian nuclear deal.

TRUMP: The Iran deal is one of the worst deals I have ever seen negotiated in my entire life. It's a disgrace that this country negotiated that deal.

Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina , Feb 13, 2016

Let Russia bash ISIS; let Germany defend Ukraine

Q: Russia has invaded Ukraine, and has put troops in Syria. You have said you will have a good relationship with Mr. Putin. So, what does President Trump do in response to Russia's aggression?

TRUMP: As far as Syria, if Putin wants to go and knock the hell out of ISIS, I am all for it, 100%, and I can't understand how anybody would be against it.

Q: They're not doing that.

TRUMP: They blew up a Russian airplane. He cannot be in love with these people. He's going in, and we can go in, and everybody should go in. As far as the Ukraine is concerned, we have a group of people, and a group of countries, including Germany--why are we always doing the work? I'm all for protecting Ukraine--but, we have countries that are surrounding the Ukraine that aren't doing anything. They say, "Keep going, keep going, you dummies, keep going. Protect us." And we have to get smart. We can't continue to be the policeman of the world.

Source: Fox Business/WSJ First Tier debate , Nov 10, 2015

Provide economic assistance to create a safe zone in Syria

Q: Where you are on the question of a safe zone or a no-fly zone in Syria?

TRUMP: I love a safe zone for people. I do not like the migration. I do not like the people coming. What they should do is, the countries should all get together, including the Gulf states, who have nothing but money, they should all get together and they should take a big swath of land in Syria and they do a safe zone for people, where they could to live, and then ultimately go back to their country, go back to where they came from.

Q: Does the U.S. get involved in making that safe zone?

TRUMP: I would help them economically, even though we owe $19 trillion.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2015 interview on Syrian Refugee crisis , Oct 11, 2015

US should not train rebels it does not know or control

Q: The Russians are hitting Assad as well as people we've trained.

TRUMP: Where they're hitting people, we're talking about people that we don't even know. I was talking to a general two days ago. He said, "We have no idea who these people are. We're training people. We don't know who they are. We're giving them billions of dollars to fight Assad." And you know what? I'm not saying Assad's a good guy, because he's probably a bad guy. But I've watched him interviewed many times. And you can make the case, if you look at Libya, look at what we did there-- it's a mess-- if you look at Saddam Hussein with Iraq, look what we did there-- it's a mess-- it's going be same thing.

Source: Meet the Press 2015 interview moderated by Chuck Todd , Oct 4, 2015

Better to have Mideast strongmen than Mideast chaos

Q: You think the Middle East would be better today if Gaddafi, Saddam and Assad were stronger? That the Middle East would be safer?

TRUMP: It's not even a contest. Iraq is a disaster. And ISIS came out of Iraq.

Q: Well, let me button this up. If Saddam and Gaddafi were still in power, you think things would be more stable?

TRUMP: Of course it would be. You wouldn't have had your Benghazi situation, which is one thing, which was just a terrible situation.

Q: Would you pull out of what we're doing in Syria now?

TRUMP: no, I'd sit back.

Source: Meet the Press 2015 interview moderated by Chuck Todd , Oct 4, 2015

Good that Russia is involved in Syria

Q: You came across to me as if you welcomed Putin's involvement in Syria. You said you saw very little downside. Why?

TRUMP: I want our military to be beyond anything, no contest, and technologically, most importantly. But we are going to get bogged down in Syria. If you look at what happened with the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, that's when they went bankrupt.

Q: So, you think Putin's going to get suckered into--

TRUMP: They're going to get bogged down. Everybody that's touched the Middle East, they've gotten bogged down. Now, Putin wants to go in and I like that Putin is bombing the hell out of ISIS. Putin has to get rid of ISIS because Putin doesn't want ISIS coming into Russia.

Q: Why do you trust him and nobody else does?

TRUMP: I don't trust him. But the truth is, it's not a question of trust. I don't want to see the United States get bogged down. We've spent now $2 trillion in Iraq, probably a trillion in Afghanistan. We're destroying our country.

Source: Meet the Press 2015 interview moderated by Chuck Todd , Oct 4, 2015

More sanctions on Iran; more support of Israel

What does Donald Trump believe? Iran and Israel: Walk away from nuclear talks. Increase sanctions.

Trump has said that the U.S. is mishandling current Iran negotiations and should have walked away from the table once Tehran reportedly rejected the idea of sending enriched uranium to Russia. He would increase sanctions on Iran. Trump has been sharply critical of the Obama administration's handling of relations with Israel and has called for a closer alliance with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series , Jun 16, 2015

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