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Tillerson fall shows Trump learning game of politics

17 1 2

LONDON – Donald Trump is learning to work the presidency.

The U.S. president is like few — if any — other leaders in American history. He reportedly shows little interest in reading briefing documents, spends much of his time on the golf course or watching cable television — all the while disagreeing with the Washington establishment on just about everything. After 14 months in the Oval Office, however, it’s hard to dispute that he is becoming more successful at marrying his idiosyncratic style with the levers of power to get his own way.

Tuesday’s ousting of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggests Trump’s confidence is still growing — as is his ability to use the power of his office. The two have clearly been at odds for some time, with Tillerson failing to deny reports last year that he had called Trump a “moron.” Trump’s announcement of his plan to replace Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo comes days after Trump’ decision to tell a South Korean envoy that he was willing to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (Tillerson later said the decision was “not a surprise” although its suddenness prompted speculation he wasn’t consulted in advance.)

Whether Trump is acting wisely is a matter of division and debate. On North Korea, many foreign policy experts say he is making a mistake by starting with a summit. With tariffs, Trump essentially signaled a trade war with a tweet, again with little of the policy or diplomatic consultations that would normally precede such a step.

On gun........

© The Japan Times