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Donald Trump Has Caused Worldwide Dismay: Mitt Romney

Romney said he would support the President in policies he thought were in the best interests of Utah or the US but speak out against actions "that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions"

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Donald Trump, Prince, troops
Indian American Congressman asks Trump to end government shutdown. VOA

Former Republican presidential candidate and incoming Utah Senator Mitt Romney has launched a scathing attack on President Donald Trump, writing in an editorial that he caused dismay around the world and had “not risen to the mantle of the office”.

“It is well known that Donald Trump was not my choice for the Republican presidential nomination. After he became the nominee, I hoped his campaign would refrain from resentment and name-calling. It did not,” Romney wrote in the Washington Post opinion piece on Tuesday.

“… His conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions, is evidence that the President has not risen to the mantle of the office.”

 Romney, who is set to be sworn into the Senate on Thursday, also said that Trump’s presidency weakened America’s influence abroad, writing that “Trump’s words and actions have caused dismay around the world”.

“The world needs American leadership and it is in America’s interest to provide it.”

“With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable… And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring.”

Trump hit back at the Republican senator-elect in a tweet on Wednesday, saying: “Here we go with Mitt Romney, but so fast! Question will be, is he a Flake? I hope not,” Trump tweeted, referring to retiring Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, a Republican who criticized the President often in the last few years.

“Would much prefer that Mitt focus on Border Security and so many other things where he can be helpful. I won big, and he didn’t. He should be happy for all Republicans. Be a team player and win!” Trump said.

Trump, U.S.
Donald Trump. VOA

Romney said that he agreed with some of the policy changes Trump has championed. “But policies and appointments are only a part of a presidency,” he wrote.

Responding to Romney’s piece, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale said that the incoming senator “lacked the ability to save this nation” while Trump “has saved it”.

“Jealously is a drink best served warm and Romney just proved it. So sad, I wish everyone had the courage (Trump) had,” Parscale said.

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Romney and Trump have long had a complicated political relationship. The President had called Romney “irrelevant” and had bragged that he was a more successful businessman.

When Trump was running for President in 2016, Romney called him a “phoney” and a “fraud”. In 2017, he slammed the President after the deadly white supremacist rally in Virginia for causing “racists to rejoice” and “minorities to weep”.

Romney said he would support the President in policies he thought were in the best interests of Utah or the US but speak out against actions “that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions”. (IANS)

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Things Are Going Very Well With North Korea: U.S. President Donald Trump

The White House announced after talks between Trump and Kim on Friday that the U.S. president would hold a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

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President Donald Trump shakes hands with Kim Yong Chol, former North Korean military intelligence chief, after their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, June 1, 2018. The two also met for talks in Washington (VOA)

U.S. President Donald Trump said Saturday that he had an “incredible” meeting with North Korean nuclear envoy Kim Yong Chol and the two sides had made “a lot of progress” on denuclearization.

The White House announced after talks between Trump and Kim on Friday that the U.S. president would hold a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in late February, but would maintain economic sanctions on Pyongyang.

“That was an incredible meeting,” Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House, said of the talks. “We’ve agreed to meet sometime, probably the end of February. We’ve picked a country but we’ll be announcing it in the future. Kim Jong Un is looking very forward to it and so am I.

“We have made a lot of progress as far as denuclearization is concerned and we are talking about a lot of different things. Things are going very well with North Korea.”

Trump and the White House have given no details of the talks, and despite his upbeat comments there has been no indication of any narrowing of differences over U.S. demands that North Korea abandon a nuclear weapons program that threatens the United States and Pyongyang’s demands for a lifting of punishing sanctions.

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U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shake hands after signing documents during a summit at the Capella Hotel on the resort island of Sentosa, Singapore, June 12, 2018. (VOA)

June summit

A summit in June in Singapore — the first between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader — produced a vague commitment by Kim Jong Un to work toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, but he has yet to take what Washington sees as concrete steps in that direction.

Critics of U.S. efforts said the first summit did little more than boost Kim’s international stature.

Trump did not elaborate on the country chosen to host the summit, but Vietnam has been considered a leading candidate.

Kim Yong Chol, regarded as a member of Kim Jong Un’s inner circle, also had talks on Friday with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the U.S. special representative on North Korea, Stephen Biegun.

The State Department said the two sides had “a productive first meeting at the working level” and Biegun would travel to Sweden at the weekend to attend an international conference.

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The conference is also being attended by North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui. Washington has been keen to set up talks between Biegun and Choe but North Korea has resisted, apparently wanting to keep exchanges high-level.

Asked if the two would meet in Stockholm, a State Department spokeswoman said: “We have no meetings to announce.” (VOA)