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Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump has injected turmoil into traditional U.S. partnerships while strengthening ties with less likely allies, including authoritarian leaders, the NY Times' Mark Landler notes in a reflection on year one of Trump's foreign policy.

Why it matters, per Landler: "Mr. Trump's feuds with Ms. May and other British officials have left him in a strange position: feted in Beijing and Riyadh but barely welcome in London."

Rifts with allies
  • Germany: Landler reports that White House aides called Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier this year to complain that she had been condescending toward Trump when they discussed Ukraine over the phone. When they met in person, Trump told Merkel he wanted a bilateral trade deal with Germany — an impossibility, given Germany's membership in the E.U. — and Merkel was careful to "get through the exchange without embarrassing the president or appearing to lecture him" (she told him Europe and the U.S. could strike a bilateral deal).
  • U.K.: Trump scolded Prime Minister Theresa May on Twitter after she said it was a mistake for him to share anti-Muslim videos from a far-right hate group.
  • NATO: Landler reports that Trump was fixated on the expensive new NATO headquarters in Brussels during his tense visit there, telling his fellow leaders sarcastically, "I never asked once what the new NATO headquarters cost."
How foreign leaders have impressed Trump
  • France: "Mr. Macron figured out early how to appeal to the president: He invited him to a military parade."
  • Saudi Arabia: "The Saudi monarch projected his image on the side of a hotel."
  • China: "Mr. Xi reopened a long-dormant theater inside the Forbidden City to present Mr. Trump and his wife, Melania, an evening of Chinese opera."
Other takeaways
  • "During the Bastille Day visit, officials recalled, Mr. Trump told Mr. Macron he was rethinking his decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord. That prompted French diplomats to make a flurry of excited calls to the White House for clarification the following week, only to find out that American policy had not changed… the exchange captures Mr. Trump's lack of nuance or detail, which leaves him open to being misunderstood in complex international talks."
  • H.R. McMaster told Landler Trump had "moved a lot of us out of our comfort zone, me included," but that his approach has merit: "The consensus view has been that engagement overseas is an unmitigated good, regardless of the circumstances. But there are problems that are maybe both intractable and of marginal interest to the American people, that do not justify investments of blood and treasure."
  • Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said, "Most foreign leaders are still trying to get a handle on him. Everywhere I go, I'm still getting asked, 'Help us understand this president, help us navigate this situation.'"

Go deeper

Scoop: Trump talked out of early Ohio endorsement

Jane Timken at a 2017 Trump rally. Photo: Kyle Mazza/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Donald Trump had to be talked out of making an early endorsement in Ohio's 2022 U.S. Senate race, a sign of his eagerness to reengage politically, people familiar with the conversations tell Axios.

What we're hearing: The former president discussed endorsing former state GOP chair Jane Timken last week during a meeting at Mar-a-Lago with RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, but top advisers — including Donald Trump Jr. — urged him to wait.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Trump received COVID vaccine at White House in January — CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions.
  2. Education: More schools are reopening in the U.S.
  3. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals Most states aren't prioritizing prisons for COVID vaccines — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
  4. Economy: Apple says all U.S. stores open for the first time since start of pandemic — What's really going on with the labor market.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.
  6. World: Latin America turns to China and Russia for COVID-19 vaccines.
Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Latin America turns to China and Russia for COVID-19 vaccines

Several countries in the Americas have received their first vaccine shipments over the past few weeks — not from the regional superpower or from Western pharmaceutical giants, but from China, Russia, and in some cases India.

Why it matters: North and South America have been battered by the pandemic and recorded several of the world’s highest death tolls. Few countries other than the U.S. have the capacity to manufacture vaccines at scale, and most lack the resources to buy their way to the front of the line for imports. That’s led to a scramble for whatever supply is available.