Trump’s disruptive presidency
June 19, 2020 - President Trump’s critics say his capricious leadership has significantly damaged his re-election prospects. Trump’s latest setback came on Thursday when the U.S. Supreme Court blocked his bid to deport so-called “Dreamers” -- around 650,000 immigrants who entered the United States illegally as children.
The irascible president kicked off the year by sweeping aside the two-state solution in the Middle East. On January 28, during a visit to the White House by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Trump announced details of his Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.
Dubbed “Peace to Prosperity,” the plan excludes Palestinians from the discussions. It gives the green light to Netanyahu’s West Bank annexation plan.
In March, the president drew widespread criticism for describing the coronavirus as a “Chinese virus.” Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described the phrase as “racist rhetoric.”
On May 28, Trump sparked alarm by responding to protests over police brutality and racial inequality with a threat that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
One day later, Trump said he would halt funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) and pull out of the agency, claiming China has “total control” over the WHO.
The president’s sudden decision to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to his Group of Seven summit drew opposition from both Britain and Canada. German Chancellor Angela Merkel refused to attend, citing the pandemic. Russia was expelled from the group in 2014 in response to its annexation of Crimea.
On June 5, Trump abruptly issued a directive to withdraw 9,500 troops from Germany, blindsiding both Chancellor Merkel and his officials.
The president’s job approval ratings have fallen to 39 per cent according to the latest Gallup poll. Historically, all incumbents with approval ratings significantly lower than 50 per cent have lost re-election.
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