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Brooks: Trump Is ‘Going to Want the Affirmation of the Establishment, As He Always Has’

On Friday’s “PBS NewsHour,” New York Times columnist David Brooks argued that President-Elect Donald Trump will take a more establishment position on Russia because “I don’t think he has the expertise to actually run a foreign policy. And at the end of the day, and I think this is a major story of the Trump administration, he’s going to want the affirmation of the establishment, as he always has.”

Broks stated, “What’s interesting about the Trump administration is how bitterly divided they are in their attitudes towards Putin. Steve Bannon and General Flynn have warm feelings. Putin has been — and with a lot of the groups, the conservative groups, the more extreme conservative groups that underlie Trump, he’s a bit of a hero because he speaks for traditional values. He’s against the global institutions. They see him as someone who’s been on the defensive from an aggressive EU, an aggressive NATO. And there’s a lot of sympathy there, actually. And then, if you look at the more establishment Republicans, they see him as what I just described, subversive of the world order. And so to me the question will be, will Trump and Bannon control policy toward the foreign policy, or will everyone else basically?”

He continued, “And my money’s on everyone else, because I think Trump’s attention span is super low. I don’t think he has the expertise to actually run a foreign policy. And at the end of the day, and I think this is a major story of the Trump administration, he’s going to want the affirmation of the establishment, as he always has. The reason he had Clintons at his wedding is because he wants that affirmation. When he gets the chance to have it, I think he will bend gradually in that direction.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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