Trump’s Foreign Policy: The Good and the Bad in His First 30 Days

Below are foreign policy highlights and lowlights from the first month of Donald Trump’s presidency.


  • Trump said: “Russia … this is fake news put out by the media … I’m here today to tell you the whole Russian thing, that’s a ruse."
  • "It’s going to be impossible for [me] to ever get along with Russia because of all the pressure [I’ve] got with this fake story"
  • "If we could get along with Russia … China and Japan and everyone … it would be a positive thing, not a negative thing”.
  • “I say it’s better to get along with Russia than not.”
  • When asked about Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was called a “killer” by the interviewer, Trump responded, “We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country is so innocent?… take a look at what we’ve done too."
  • "We made a lot of mistakes. I’ve been against the war in Iraq from the beginning … A lot of mistakes, but a lot of people were killed. A lot of killers around, believe me.”
  • Russian lawmakers & economists optimistic after Putin-Trump call.
  • Trump: "They have sanctions on Russia — let’s see if we can make some good deals with Russia … For one thing, I think nuclear weapons should be way down and reduced very substantially."
  • NY Times Op-Ed: “Why Trump Is Right on Russia“.
  • Secretary Tillerson fires much of the seventh-floor staff at the State Department. The seventh-floor was referred to as “the shadow government” in an FBI release.
  • Trump Nixes Elliott Abrams for State Dept. Job.
  • Trump: "The Israelis are going to have to show some flexibility [on Palestine], which is … hard to do".
  • Regarding a one-state or two-state solution, Trump said, "I want the one that both parties [Israel and Palestine] want."
  • White House: New or expanded Israeli settlements "may not be helpful" in achieving peace.
  • Belgrade Breathes Easier as Trump’s Win Marks End to Clinton-Era Interventionism.


  • US troops deploy to Bulgaria as part of NATO operation.
  • Hundreds of US Troops, Tanks Arrive in Romania.
  • Trump: “Crimea was TAKEN by Russia during the Obama Administration. Was Obama too soft on Russia?”
  • Saudi crown prince receives CIA honor for anti-terror efforts.
  • US-led coalition air strikes killed 18 Afghan civilians, U.N. says.
  • US tanks, infantry fighting vehicles arrive in Estonia amid NATO buildup on Russian borders.
  • US to Deploy Navy Destroyer Off Yemen Coast.
  • Trump: ‘Nothing Off the Table’ On Iran.
  • US sanctions Iran after missile test.
  • Nikki Haley just delivered the Trump administration’s most hawkish words yet toward Russia.
  • Many Civilians Among the Dead After US Raid in Yemen.
  • President Trump said he believes that “torture works.”
  • The first arms sales of the Trump administration: $1.85 billion to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Britain and Kenya (pending congressional approval).
  • U.S., Coalition Continue Strikes Against ISIL in Syria, Iraq.
  • NATO has our ‘unshakable commitment’, Pentagon chief vows.
  • US declines to send formal delegation to Syria peace talks, citing timing issues; will instead send an ambassador.
  • Yemen Reports First US Drone Strikes Under Trump – 10 Killed in Two Strikes.
  • Donald Trump’s top team don’t all agree with him on Russia.
  • Tillerson Wants to Provide Saudi Arabia With More Help to Bomb Yemen.
  • Mattis: US Needs to Be Ready to ‘Confront’ Russia.

NOTE: The information above is excerpted from the St. Pete for Peace fact sheet on the Trump administration’s foreign policy. The fact sheet will be updated throughout the Trump presidency.

Chris Ernesto is cofounder of St. Pete for Peace, an antiwar organization in St. Petersburg, FL that has been active since 2003. Mr. Ernesto also created and manages and

23 thoughts on “Trump’s Foreign Policy: The Good and the Bad in His First 30 Days”

    1. Me too! We must not allow Trump to bury his great annoyance that is threatening to destroy him. That is, the notion that he wanted better relations with Russia. He never did of course and he doesn’t have any support for the idea at all.

      If you choose to you can continue to believe that Trump did have good intentions. But don’t continue to believe that improved relations with Russia are ever going to be possible. It’s at odds with the US agenda and at odds with everything the establishment says about Russia.

  1. The President should call out the media on this Russian thing. Hold a press conference and just tell them he’s sick of it and they need to offer some proof as to why the US should not have favorable relations with one of the most powerful nations on the planet. If they can’t then shut up.

      1. Not possible Thane. In fact keeping the issue alive is only hurting Trump. His objective now is to put the whole idea to bed as nothing but a campaign gimmick. If you take the time to look closely, you’ll see that’s being done now.

        Trump can survive for quite a while on his other agenda issues and promises. Not that one! The fact is, it’s likely that 80-90% of the people are unsympathetic with Russia/US improved relations.

        1. “nothing but a campaign gimmick” – His success becoming president is “nothing but a campaign gimmick”. He is now the President and Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton are not. Calling it a gimmick completely ignores the fact that his gimmicks work.

          1. Trump’s campaign gimmick of pretending to want better relations with Russia had little to do with him winning. However, it’s possible the 1 or 2 millions antiwar people were necessary for his numbers. We know how close it was for him.
            But now he doesn’t need those people and so the promise and the people have both become an annoyance to Trump.
            The notion of Trump improving relations with Russia is literally destroying him and so he needs to distance himself from it. He’s doing that but his opposition keep it alive.

            We’ll continue to work on this concept Thane, and sooner or later you will come to accept it. There’s no other possibility.

          2. Donald Trump continues to say he supports A and not A. That puzzles me. If you make a point, good or bad, I have no investment agreeing or disagreeing with you. I hope you make good points. If you make points relative to Donald Trump I may not agree or disagree with you as I find it hard to either agree or disagree with him. My weakest point is that I find it hard to call Donald Trump an ongoing and unrepentant liar. I may get better on that point over time.

    1. He should! But he won’t and that’s because he has no intention of forwarding that agenda.
      Isn’t it ironic that he would have done just that if he had any commitment to his promises!
      At this point in his administration, Trump is desperately trying to put the whole idea to bed because the other side are using it to destroy him. It’s working and it doesn’t need to work. IT NEVER MEANT ANYTHING TO TRUMP OTHER THAN TO GET A FEW ANTIWAR VOTES.

      Get it yet? Stop being patsies for a psychopathic liar!

      1. Don, You’re still refusing to come to grips with the illogic of your position.

        If “IT NEVER MEANT ANYTHING TO TRUMP OTHER THAN TO GET A FEW ANTIWAR VOTES” then he has no need to “desperately try to put the whole idea to bed.” All he has to do is abandon the position. He already got the few antiwar votes. Why would he need to “desperately try” to do something that he could do easily and that by your estimation would be wildly popular?

        1. We’re still on different wavelengths on this issue Thomas. I’m not blaming you and I’m not taking the blame myself, but I’ll have another go at it.

          To begin with, there is hardly any doubt now that Trump’s entire admin wants to put the issue to bed. I think we can agree on that at least.

          And so then, if we question Trump’s sincerity on practically everything then we should be good with questioning it on Russia/US relations.

          Trump’s proposal of better relations with Russia, assuming that he meant it, is hugely unpopular in your country. You yourself have said that the antiwar faction of his support was insignificant. (not in those exact words) The R’s in congress don’t support it and are for the most part silent. The Dems don’t support it and are very vocal on it. Trump’s own people don’t support it and are at least beginning to become vocal on it.

          And the clincher: Trump is now silent on it and has been for quite a while. At best, he’s being mildly reactive on the issue, if even that.

          Trump can continue on bumbling through his domestic agenda and he will get some substantial support on it, as well as some strong opposition. But all he’s going to get from Russia/US cooperation is opposition from all quarters.

          Excepting the comments on this site, who is keeping it in the spotlight? If you claim that Trump wants to keep it alive then show me your evidence. I’ve not seen it but I may be missing something.

          He’s trying to put it to bed. He’s abandoned the position but they won’t let it go away!

        2. Another hint that came to mind Thomas. Think of Trump as being so naive as to think that he could convince Putin to do what he wished Russia to do on US foreign policy demands. Or if ‘naivety’ doesn’t work for you then think of it as arrogance.

          Or in other words, Trump expecting to have his demands met by Putin without any indication in the least that Putin would be inclined to do such. This kind of behaviour by Trump would be completely in character for him. I’m pretty sure that Trump would consider himself the intellectual equal of Putin. What a joke!

          1. You’re looking at this in the mainstream perspective. Trump’s decision to bring peace between the US and Russia is not a “wildly unpopular” position here, and I would know, because I live here. I have yet to speak to someone who wants us to become aggressive towards Russia. Sure there are plenty of people who want Trump’s imaginary ties to Russia to be investigated, but that’s primarily it.

            And there’s nothing that can be done from Trump’s end to stop the Russia talk. The media has declared war and Russia is a talking point that has stuck, so they’re going to continue milking it, most likely until Trump’s years as President are up.

            Also, don’t be that person who thinks Trump is naive. He would not be President if that was so. I believe he gives the appearance of such, but you haven’t been paying close enough attention of you truly believe this.

          2. You have to broaden your horizons in order to be able to fully appreciate the political climate in your country. When you do that you will find that the large majority in your country have been taken in by the ruse of Russia being the aggressor, and that the US must guard against a pre-emptive war being started by Russia.

            At this point in time, I’m not accusing Trump as being naive. First of all, I’m totally convinced that his bullshit on improving relations with Russia was nothing more than attracting the few antiwar votes. He may have even needed those 1 or 2 millions. But now it’s way too much to expect that Trump isn’t in the loop with US foreign policy.

            Or, if you want to believe that he stands alone on Russia, then do so, but don’t be under any illusion that he would ever be able to carry out any moves that would be totally in opposition to US foreign policy on Russia. And you know that I’m not with you on that.

      2. Here’s a tip for you going forward. You do a fine job of making an argument for your cause. Just stop right there and and don’t imply that someone might be a “patsy” because they don’t think like you do. Your intent is to sway opinion, not piss people off.

        1. I understand that logic very well and so thank you for the compliment part of it and thanks for the criticism too.

          My reaction is, f–k the Trump supporters, they’re incapable of understanding and even if they did they’re too stubborn to change. I’ve been down that road with them before and logical persuasion doesn’t work.

          My discussion with Thomas has nothing to do with arguing with Trump supporters. I think we both know Trump’s ideas won’t go much further but we disagree on whether Trump was sincere to begin with.

          1. Dag nabbit. I wish I would have seen this comment before replying to you. It seems you’re the type who automatically dismisses the opposing argument. Please change that mindset!

          2. No, that’s not the type I am, but I think that approach is the best when dealing with those who support Trump.

            When one becomes so convinced that he is right on Trump, it becomes especially hard to deal with the issue as being debatable.

            You’ll notice that I have a track record of debating and you can see that right here on this thread in my discussions with Thomas. Bearing in mind that Thomas is not one who is fooled by Trump.

  2. The second point in the ‘good’ column is worth mentioning. It appears to be the beginning of fabricating the excuse that Trump will use to get out of his lies. Nearly all of Trump’s supporters are now hinting on that excuse being used. Even Raimondo.

    And then, Trump saying he was against war with Iraq is a lie. It’s a lie in that he didn’t know what to say but he leaned toward the side of ‘bad’.

    Is there any confusion of that sort in the minds of true antiwar people?

  3. And to add to the good side:
    Bolton is entirely misunderstood and he’s a good guy who wouldn’t be in favour of war with Russia or even the ongoing harrassment of Russia by the US.



    The jig’s up Raimondo and all the answering back to the comments on your latest piece ain’t gonna help you to convince them. The only support you have remaining is the disgusting braindead like muggles and co.

  4. Nice contribution!
    BUT these facts need some interpretation. To get his way and get around his many enemies, Trump must make many feints and utter many things he does not mean and will take back. On the other hand, some things we can take to the bank. His drive for New Detente with Russia has cost him dearly in political capital and he has stuck with it through thick and thin. It cost him votes also, especially in the primaries but he stuck with it.
    This we can believe and we can believe that Trump will strive to implement it unless he is foiled by the Imperial Class.
    That of course is partly in our hands.
    There should be pro-Trump articles by peace activists supporting New Detente (not all of Trump’s agenda but the “good” part as in this piece) but they are rare.
    There should be pro-Trump rallies by forces for peace also supporting New Detente, but they are non-existent.
    Let us stop playing the role of onlookers and DO something to prevent nuclear Armageddon.
    John V. Walsh

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