Coons: Trump’s ‘Personal Approach to International Diplomacy’ Is Failing

On Thursday’s  broadcast of MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) blamed the latest problems with Iran and North Korea on President Donald Trump’s “personal approach to international diplomacy.”

Coons said, “Happy new year to you and let’s hope that 2020 is better for all of us than 2019, but it certainly dawns with two foreign policy crises facing President Trump and our nation, in North Korea and in Iraq because of repeated attacks by Iranian-backed militias.”

He continued, “Look, I do support the president taking action against Iranian militias following the death of an American contractor and the wounding of four American troops, and Secretary Esper, who was on earlier in your show, certainly has the responsibility to protect our thousands of troops that are scattered throughout the region. But I think what’s going on here is that President Trump is seeing the limitations, or I’d say even the failures, of his personal approach to international diplomacy. He thought he could charm Kim Jong-un in North Korea into giving up his nuclear weapons, and he thought he could isolate Iran. And in both cases, he abandoned traditional diplomacy. He abandoned the very broad deal that was reached by the Obama administration that brought in our European allies and China and Russia to get an inspections regime in place with Iran. He walked away from that and has instead launched a unilateral maximum pressure campaign that has produced some real difficulties, some real pressure on the Iranians, but they’ve been responding by shooting down a drone, by attacking Saudi Arabia, and now by taking these steps.”

He added, “We need a real strategy. President Trump needs a real strategy that relies on our allies and traditional diplomacy to find a way forward with Iran. Similarly with North Korea, although President Trump took bold and unprecedented action in meeting with Kim Jong-un individually, that so far hasn’t produced any real positive outcomes. We haven’t even seen an inventory of North Korea’s nuclear facilities and weapons, and I think we’re now on the precipice of a North Korea demonstrating testing a new strategic weapon. This is going to be a very challenging period. And in both cases, I think re-engaging our allies and re-engaging with traditional diplomacy is the critical piece that’s missing in the Trump administration’s strategy.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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