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President Trump presents his National Security Strategy in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 18, 2017. Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Trump's National Security Strategy tries to both set him apart from his predecessors and embed "America First" in the realist tradition.

The big picture: The NSS emphasizes not just protecting the homeland but closing it off, and shows little interest in combating climate change or transforming other societies. It takes a surprisingly tough line on Russia and China, labeling them "revisionist powers" opposed to U.S. values and interests. And its most striking passage rejects the traditional assumption that "engagement with rivals and their inclusion in international institutions and global commerce would turn them into benign actors and trustworthy partners."

Yet the greatest problem with the document is its frequent disconnects with the policies implemented by Trump's administration. The NSS:

  • Talks tough on China, but the administration walked away from the TPP, the best tool to counter Chinese regional influence, and still wants China's help with North Korea.
  • Highlights Russian interference in other countries' domestic affairs, a charge Trump continues to deny when it comes to his election.
  • Supports multilateral diplomacy, but the administration has left the Paris accord, boycotted a new compact on migration, and gutted the State Department.
  • Cites national debt as a grave threat, but the GOP tax cut will increase it by at least $1.5 trillion.

The bottom line: For all that Trump's NSS stresses its break from tradition, it also departs from many of his own policies and professed opinions.

Go deeper

CCP releases two jailed Canadians after Huawei CFO deal with DOJ

Photo: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Two Canadians imprisoned by the Chinese government for over 1,000 days have been released and are expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Why it matters: Their release comes hours after Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that resolves the criminal charges against her and could pave the way for her to return to China.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona GOP's private recount of 2020 election confirms Biden's win

Contractors working on behalf of the GOP examine and recount 2020 ballots at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix in May. Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

In an odd coda to the 2020 election, private contractors conducting a GOP-commissioned recount in Arizona confirmed President Biden’s win in Maricopa County.

Why it matters: The unofficial, party-driven recount has been heavily covered on cable news as part of former President Trump's continued effort to sow doubt about the election result.

Del Rio bridge camp empty following Haitian migrant surge

A boy bathes himself in a jug of water inside a migrant camp at the U.S.-Mexico border on Sept. 21 in Del Rio, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The last migrants camping under the Del Rio International Bridge, which connects Texas and Mexico, departed on Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced during a White House press briefing.

Driving the news: Thousands of migrants, mostly from Haiti, had arrived to the makeshift camp after crossing the southern border seeking asylum. Roughly 1,800 migrants will now head to U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing centers.