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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The world was not buying what President Trump was selling this week at the United Nations General Assembly.

Flashback: Trump made waves at the UN last year with his disdainful attitude and threats of nuclear destruction. He continued his nationalist push this year, but the shock factor had largely worn off and a parade of leaders who once attempted to woo him — led by French President Emmanuel Macron — signaled they’re preparing to move on without him.

On Iran, the Trump administration went all out in an attempt to unite the world against the regime, with bellicose remarks from Mike Pompeo, John Bolton and Trump himself.

  • Instead, the Europeans joined with Russia and China to announce a payments system intended to circumvent U.S. sanctions.
  • When Trump chaired a UN Security Council meeting he had initially hoped would be focused on the Iranian threat, he was instead forced to listen to praise for the 2015 nuclear deal from leader after leader — not to mention a litany of abuse from Bolivia’s president.

On migration, Trump slammed a recent UN agreement on the grounds that “migration should not be governed by an international body.”

  • It's moving ahead anyways. In a press conference hailing the accord, Switzerland’s president noted that “the whole world” had signed on, “with one or two exceptions." Those are Hungary and the U.S.

On climate change, Trump’s isolation was even starker. Macron went so far as to say Europe should not sign a trade deal with any country that doesn’t respect the Paris climate agreement. There’s only one such country: the United States.

I asked EU Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič in an interview yesterday whether it’s time for Europe to give up on Trump and go its own way. He stressed America's importance, but said Trump's retreat had actually made it easier to reach consensus in areas like climate change.

“We’re now doing a lot more, and paradoxically our big partner on this is China. Of course we would prefer to have Americans at the table … but once you are not at the table, you are not at the table, and you are missing at the table.”

In a press conference last night that was (aside from some blistering comments on Canada) dedicated primarily to domestic concerns, Trump was asked about the split over Iran. His remarks were revealing:

“It doesn’t matter what world leaders think on Iran. Iran is going to come back to me and they’re going to make a great deal — I think.”

The bottom line: Trump’s message is pretty clear: America doesn’t need the world. This week showed that his fellow leaders are weighing how much they truly need him.

Go deeper

Updated 36 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

Screenshot: Fox News

President Trump has delivered a farewell speech and departed Washington for the last time on Air Force One, kicking off the day that will culminate with President-elect Joe Biden taking office.

What's next: The inaugural celebration for young Americans is being livestreamed, starting at 10am.

Updated 52 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump departs on final Air Force One flight

President Trump and his family took off on Air Force One at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning for the final time en route to Florida.

The big picture: Trump's final hours as president were punctuated by his decisions to snub his successor's inauguration and grant pardons to many of his allies who have been swept up in corruption scandals.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Janet Yellen said all the right things to reassure the markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Treasury Secretary nominee and former Fed chair Janet Yellen's confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday showed markets just what they can expect from the administration of President-elect Joe Biden: more of what they got under President Trump — at least for now.

What it means: Investors and big companies reaped the benefits of ultralow U.S. interest rates and low taxes for most of Trump's term as well as significant increases in government spending, even before the coronavirus pandemic.

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