Trump Set for Warm But Short-Lived Welcome at First Stop in Europe – Bloomberg

There won’t be sword dancing this time, but the choreography for Donald Trump’s second trip abroad as U.S. president will be familiar.

A traditional ceremony with Arab heads of state was among the highlights for Trump’s red-carpet treatment when he visited Saudi Arabia at the start of his first trip in May. In Warsaw, where he lands on Wednesday evening, the welcome looks set to be just as warm. Poland’s populist leaders have described Trump’s visit as a national triumph and have been recruiting supporters to attend his speech on Thursday.

As with that earlier tour, though, any warm glow is likely to be short-lived before Trump is confronted with the reality of his standing in the world order.

From Poland’s capital, Trump will fly to Hamburg in Germany for a meeting of the Group of 20 leaders that begins Friday. There, he’s likely to find himself in an uncomfortably small minority on major issues such as climate change and free trade, much as he did at the G-7 gathering that followed his trip to the Middle East. The German government has drafted as many as 15,000 police from around the country to keep protesters under control.

“He is going to Poland to say ‘I favor this kind of Europe, as opposed to our more traditional allies in Europe’,” said Wendy Sherman, a former undersecretary of state for political affairs during the Barack Obama administration. “It was probably quite conscious to go there first to send a message about his priorities.”

Divisive Leaders

Trump has much in common with the current Polish government. Both are nationalist in their approaches and take a skeptical view of free media and independent courts. Meanwhile, Poland’s policy of “economic patriotism,” influence on the media and courts, and opposition to accepting refugees from the Middle East have put the country at odds with European Union institutions led by Germany and France, or “Old Europe.”

Some commentators in Poland and western Europe have worried Trump may use his speech in Warsaw’s central Krasinski Square to divide the EU in the way that former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld did before the Iraq war.

“Trump’s visit in Poland is perceived in Berlin, Paris and even in Brussels as dividing Europe, which is unusual,” said Katarzyna Pelczynska-Nalecz, a former deputy foreign minister and ambassador to Russia.

On Monday, Poland’s pro-government Gazeta Polska newspaper ran a full-page advertisement inviting readers to the U.S. president’s “first speech in Europe,” and to a picnic to follow at the national sports stadium. For two weeks already, similar posters have been plastered around the capital and lawmakers from the governing Law & Justice Party have been offering to bus in social media followers.

Energy Security

As in Saudi Arabia, there will be business to showcase. Trump last week pledged in a speech to make the U.S. a “dominant” exporter of energy, creating jobs at home and “true energy security to our friends, partners, and allies all across the globe.” The U.S. last month delivered its first shipment of liquid natural gas to the new terminal on Poland’s north-western coast.

Trump will also attend a summit of the Three Seas Initiative while in Warsaw. Launched jointly by Poland and Croatia last year, the group consists of 12 east European countries bounded by the Baltic, Adriatic and Black seas. Most are ex-Soviet bloc states that remain heavily dependent on Russia for natural gas and concerned for their energy security.

“Clearly the Poles are using the Saudi playbook in terms of preparing the visit and making sure it will be a happy trip for him,” said Derek Chollet, executive vice president of the German Marshall Fund, a transatlantic think tank. “The G-20 will be much scratchier.”

Strongmen Club

White House officials say Trump will seek to balance his “America First” approach with the need to strengthen U.S. alliances. “America First does not mean America alone,” said Gary Cohn, Trump’s top economic adviser.

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Indeed, Trump may feel less alone this time. Unlike the G-7, this week’s summit will include many of the strongmen with whom he appears to feel more at ease, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, Xi Jinping of China, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Those leaders are unlikely to snub Trump in public, the way French President Emmanuel Macron did in Brussels, when he made as if to shake hands with Trump first, only to swerve away to take German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s.

On climate change and trade, however, Trump risks simply finding an even larger group of nations lined up against him.

“The withdrawal from the Paris agreement does mean that there will be a coalition, which is there, quite committed, but doesn’t include the U.S.,’’ said Amar Bhattacharya, a senior fellow for global economy and development at the Brookings Institution in Washington. “That’s really a first in post-World War II history on an issue of that scale.”

Trump is considering whether to impose punitive measures on steel imports for reasons of national security. Cohn indicated that the administration would prefer collective action at the G-20 to advance fair trade and combat the dumping of steel, but that the U.S. was willing to act unilaterally.

A tweet from Trump just before taking off for Europe on Wednesday suggests that this summit could be as confrontational as the last: “The United States made some of the worst Trade Deals in world history. Why should we continue these deals with countries that do not help us?”

It’s the first meeting between Trump and Putin that’s expected to dominate the event. And once again, the prior visit to Warsaw could help Trump to navigate that, given the pressure he has come under in Washington over Russia’s alleged meddling in the election that brought him to power. Poland has been particularly concerned about the perceived Russian threat.

“I am quite sure there are people who made the argument internally that they needed to go to Poland to show solidarity” with the countries most concerned about Russian pressure, said Chollet at the German Marshall Fund. “All these things are planned.”

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    CNN’s ‘Massive’ Error on Russia? No Time For It on ‘Reliable Sources’

    CNN’s media unit has an enormous black hole in its review of the media world: CNN. On Friday, CNN retracted an online story making unsubstantiated claims about the Russian ties of Trump adviser Anthony Scaramucci. Jon Passantino at Buzzfeed reported on Sunday a crackdown on CNN reporting on Russia to prevent future mistakes. 
    So how much time did Stelter have for this story on his show Reliable Sources on Sunday? Nothing. Instead, Stelter spent more than five minutes hate-analyzing Fox & Friends as a Trump infomercial. He spent about ten and a half minutes indulging "TV legend" Phil Donahue. He even closed the show with four minutes allegedly about Russia — but his guest Masha Gessen basically fed back Stelter his favorite talking point that Trump is an "aspiring autocrat" who’s shutting down access to the press: "We’re definitely hurtling towards a closed system of government…"
    Here’s what Buzzfeed reported: 

    CNN is imposing strict new publishing restrictions for online articles involving Russia after the network deleted a story and then issued a retraction late Friday, according to an internal email obtained by BuzzFeed News.
    The email went out at 11:21 a.m. on Saturday from Rich Barbieri, the CNNMoney executive editor, saying "No one should publish any content involving Russia without coming to me and Jason [Farkas]," a CNN vice president.
    "This applied to social, video, editorial, and MoneyStream. No exceptions," the email added. "I will lay out a workflow Monday."
    The new restrictions also apply to other areas of the network — not just CNNMoney, which wasn’t involved with the article that was deleted and retracted.
    A source close to the network, who requested anonymity to discuss the matter, told BuzzFeed News earlier that the story was a "massive, massive f—up and people will be disciplined." [Emphasis mine.] The person said CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker and the head of the company’s human resources department are "directly involved" in an internal investigation examining how the story was handled.

    It’s not like Stelter was unaware of the CNN retraction. He tweeted that on Saturday morning:

     
    On Sunday night in his e-mail newsletter, Stelter spent about 230 words on the "massive" mess-up: 

    On Friday evening CNN.com fully retracted a story after questions were raised about the accuracy of the reporting and sourcing. The story, by Thomas Frank of the investigative unit, said Congress was investigating a "Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials." It didn’t get TV airtime, but it was shared on the web, where it was spotted and scrutinized by Breitbart.
     
    On Friday night the story was replaced by an editor’s note: "That story did not meet CNN’s editorial standards and has been retracted. Links to the story have been disabled." The editor’s note included an apology to Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci, who was named in the story. The next morning Scaramucci responded via Twitter: "CNN did the right thing. Classy move. Apology accepted. Everyone makes mistakes. Moving on." Some prominent conservative figures, like Donald Trump Jr. and Sean Hannity, seized on the story as an example of anti-Trump bias and anonymous source malfeasance…
     
    An embarrassing moment for CNN
     
    The truth is, there’s still a lot we don’t know. On Saturday and Sunday I asked CNN PR for details and comment. A network spokeswoman declined to comment as of Sunday evening.
     
    — My take: I sometimes complain to my editors about the layers of editing and oversight that exist at CNN. But these processes exist for good reasons. Determining what went wrong this time will help prevent future damage to the news organization… [Emphasis in the original.]

    Perhaps Stelter should try to be as upset at his poor access to his own network’s executives as he is to the media’s poor access to Trump. 

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    Rick Perry’s Plans for US Energy Dominance

    America is approaching energy independence, but still needs to remove obstacles, Energy Secretary Rick Perry says.
    “The previous administration talked about energy independence, but wouldn’t drill and transport. It was all talk,” @SecretaryPerry says.
    “We are very close to being energy independent,” Perry told The Daily Signal in a brief interview. “Regarding our ability to retrieve energy, we don’t need anybody. Transportation may be our biggest impediment.”
    The United States is a net energy exporter, the former Texas governor noted, but an old law and the Obama administration’s preference for some energy industries over others prevented the nation from being as strong as necessary.
    The 1920 Jones Act requires that vessels carrying fuel or other goods in U.S. waters between U.S. ports must be built, registered, owned, and crewed by American citizens.
    Because it costs more to build and operate ships in the U.S. than in other countries, it can cost as much as three times more to ship oil from the Gulf of Mexico to New England states than it would cost to ship the same amount of oil from Florida to Europe, according to an analysis last month from the American Enterprise Institute.
    The Obama administration’s preference for green industries such as solar and wind was not the “all of the above” strategy the Trump administration prefers, Perry told The Daily Signal on June 30:
    The previous administration talked about energy independence, but they wouldn’t drill and transport. It was all talk. They had a clear message to industries such as fossil fuels and nuclear. We [in the Trump administration] are all of the above. We are not here to pick winners and losers. The market can pick winners and losers.
    President Donald Trump delivered an address June 29 at the Energy Department in which he declared the U.S. was on a path to “energy dominance.”
    Trump announced a review of U.S. nuclear energy policy; construction of an oil pipeline to Mexico to increase energy exports; negotiations to sell more American natural gas to South Korea; Energy Department approval of two applications to export liquefied natural gas; and creation of an offshore oil and gas leasing program.
    President Donald Trump gets a word from Energy Secretary Rick Perry after speaking June 29 at the Energy Department in Washington. (Photo: Kevin Dietsch/CNP/AdMedia/Newscom)
    Perry vowed to expedite the exporting of liquefied natural gas. With hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the U.S. has become the largest producer of liquefied natural gas in the world, according to the federal Energy Information Administration.
    It has been up to the Energy Department to approve those exports based on whether they are in the national interest.
    “If a company meets the rules and standards, we’ll say, ‘Here’s the permit,’” Perry said in the interview.
    Speaking at the White House last week, the two-time Republican presidential candidate said he wanted to make nuclear energy “cool again.”
    He told The Daily Signal the way to do that would be showing government isn’t hostile:
    Somehow, it’s not been in the forefront of our energy portfolio, and our supply chain of future nuclear scientists [is] not being developed. We want to get them back, with the acknowledgement they will have the support of their government.
    That support won’t come through subsidies, as with green energy projects under Obama, but a priority for national laboratories to test new nuclear technology, Perry said.
    Perry cited NuScale Power in Idaho, which is working on a “modular” nuclear reactor, a smaller factory-built model that eliminates many risks of installing and reduces construction costs. Some of the modular reactors could be used to power a single manufacturing facility.
    Before Trump announced a review of the nation’s nuclear policy last week, media reports raised questions about whether the administration would support NuScale with tax dollars.
    Overall, Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal would cut the Energy Department’s nuclear energy office by 31 percent, affecting grants to research, including those that have gone to projects such as NuScale’s, The Washington Post reported.
    Whether it’s “energy independence” or “energy dominance,” clearing regulatory hurdles for American energy will benefit national security, economy, and the environment, Perry said.
    It also will create U.S. jobs and boost the economies of allies buying the affordable energy.
    The man who was governor of Texas for 14 years rejects what he calls a “false narrative” that the U.S. can’t tap its natural resources while protecting the environment.
    Texas led the nation in emission reductions during his time as governor, Perry said. Carbon emissions went down by 20 percent, sulfur dioxide emissions declined by 50 percent, and nitrogen oxide dropped by 60 percent.
    “We will not have to rely on countries that may or may not like us,” Perry told The Daily Signal. “It also would be good for our allies who will know they don’t have to rely on Russian gas. For Poland and Ukraine, and for that matter the United Kingdom, it would be good to know you’re getting energy resources from an ally.”
    The post Rick Perry’s Plans for US Energy Dominance appeared first on The Daily Signal.

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    Repeat Deportee ‘Upset with Women,’ Runs Over 3

    Repeat Deportee ‘Upset with Women,’ Runs Over 3
    Photo: Webb County Jail
    by Bob Price4 Jul 2017Laredo, TX0 4 Jul, 2017
    4 Jul, 2017

    A repeatedly deported criminal alien from Mexico allegedly ran down three women with his car because he was “upset with women in general.”
    Police in the border town of Laredo, Texas, arrested 24-year-old Lorenzo Alonso Romero on May 28 for allegedly running down three women with his car, the Laredo Morning-Times reported. Despite the date of the attacks, police are just now releasing Romero’s motivation behind the assaults.

    “Lorenzo indicated that he was upset over the fact that approximately two years ago, his neighbor had filed a report against him, in which he was arrested for an aggravated assault, claiming the allegations to have been false,” the criminal complaint stated.
    The document explains that Romero wanted to retaliate against the woman who filed the report, but also took out his frustrations on other women as well.
    On May 27, Romero reportedly struck three women with a 2001 black Oldsmobile Aurora he borrowed from his place of work.
    One of the women said she saw the car accelerate in her direction while she crossed the street. Two hours later, Romero reportedly struck another jogging near a school. He struck that woman from behind and then intentionally backed his car over her again, the complaint states.

    A third woman reportedly noticed a black car following her. She told police the vehicle struck her from behind.
    All three women had to be treated at local hospitals for their injuries.
    Investigators found enough evidence from area surveillance cameras to eventually locate and arrest Romero.
    After he told police he was angry about the woman who reported him previously, they asked why he was still upset. “He stated he was just upset with women in general and was taking out his frustration on random women he would encounter,” the complaint detailed.
    Police said he admitted to striking the three women with the car he borrowed.

    This is not Romero’s first run-in with local or federal law enforcement agencies. Officials report Romero has been deported twice to his native country of Mexico.
    Also in 2015, Romero allegedly attempted to stab a man was with his wife or girlfriend, authorities told the local newspaper reporter. His record also involves two other assaults against two different women. One involved an attempted stabbing, the second, an alleged assault to the neck of a woman who told him to stop drinking alcohol.
    Immigration officials have placed a detainer on Romero and he remains in the Webb County jail.
    Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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