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Photo: Eduardo Munoz-Alvarez/VIEWpress/Corbis via Getty Images

President Trump's blunt-force diplomacy at the United Nations yesterday reflected one of the quirks of his style on the world stage.

The big picture: He shuns European allies. Stunningly, he made zero mention of Britain or France, and his only mention of the Germans was to say that if they don’t change course, they’ll become "totally dependent on Russian energy." And he saves his sweetest words for individual world leaders — even adversaries, conveying his "great respect and affection" for his "friend" President Xi Jinping of China, and thanking North Korea's Kim Jong-un for his "courage."

  • At the same time, Trump doubled down on U.S. tariffs on China, and said the U.S. would maintain sanctions against the North Koreans until they have denuclearized.

It's Trump's theory of international relations: He praises and flatters leaders by name, while pursuing tough policies against their countries.

  • The effort to preserve personal relations leaves him to pursue a diplomacy that's based, above all, on personal chemistry between leaders.

European allies have lost all patience with this approach by Trump, with one diplomat describing the president's speech to the UN General Assembly as a roster of grievances, sprinkled with bragging about his accomplishments.

  • Trump’s grievances were many, and he described many international institutions as nothing more than scams set up to fleece Americans of their wealth and sovereignty.

Trump attacked the World Trade Organization, the UN Human Rights Council, OPEC, the new Global Compact on Migration, the current system of foreign aid, international peacekeeping, and globalism as a concept:

  • "We reject the ideology of globalism, and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism."

The bottom line: Trump’s speech was a full-throated nationalist war cry. Steve Bannon, who hasn’t talked to Trump in many months, would’ve been proud.

P.S. How they see us ... Cover of today's Guardian (London): "The world's derision halts Trump UN speech."

Go deeper

America rebalances its post-Trump news diet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Nearly halfway through President Biden's first 100 days, data shows that Americans are learning to wean themselves off of news — and especially politics.

Why it matters: The departure of former President Trump's once-ubiquitous presence in the news cycle has reoriented the country's attention.

2021 sees a record number of bills targeting trans youth

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Republicans in at least 25 states have introduced over 60 bills targeting transgender children — a legislative boom since January that has beaten 2020's total number of anti-trans bills.

Why it matters: LGBTQ advocates say the unprecedented push was catalyzed by backlash to Biden's election and the Supreme Court ruling that workers cannot be fired for being gay or transgender.

Why migrants are fleeing their homes for the U.S.

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios Photo: Herika Martinez /Getty Images 

Natural disasters in Central America, economic devastation, gang wars, political oppression, and a new administration are all driving the sharp rise in U.S.-Mexico border crossings — a budding crisis for President Biden.

Why it matters: Migration flows are complex and quickly politicized. Biden's policies are likely sending signals that are encouraging the surge — but that's only a small reason it's happening.

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