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Menendez publishes report documenting 'damage, chaos' of Trump foreign policy

Menendez publishes report documenting 'damage, chaos' of Trump foreign policy
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Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezSenate presses Biden's pick for secretary of State on Iran, China, Russia and Yemen Year-end deal creates American Latino, women's history museums Lawmakers call for including creation of Latino, women's history museums in year-end spending deal MORE (N.J.), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released a report on Wednesday of what he said was the damage to the United States from President TrumpDonald TrumpIran's leader vows 'revenge,' posting an image resembling Trump Former Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Justice Dept. to probe sudden departure of US attorney in Atlanta after Trump criticism MORE’s “America First” foreign policy. 

The report comes less than two weeks before the presidential election and serves as a preview of how the ranking member of the foreign policy panel, who could potentially serve as chairman if Democrats take a majority in the Senate, is preparing to advocate in the next administration.

The 80-page report is a blistering attack on Trump’s first term, but it also previews how the top Democrat would prepare to hold Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenRev. Barber says best way to undercut extremism is with honesty Biden requires international travelers to quarantine upon arrival to US Overnight Defense: House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee | Biden to seek five-year extension of key arms control pact with Russia | Two more US service members killed by COVID-19 MORE to account if he were elected president.

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Menendez's report criticizes Trump over Ukraine, the country at the center of the president's impeachment by the House last year. 

"The clearest example of President Trump’s use of U.S. foreign policy for his own gain was his withholding of U.S. security assistance to Ukraine unless the country launched an investigation into former Vice President Biden, at the time, a potential campaign opponent," states the report by Democratic staff, titled “The Cost of Trump’s Foreign Policy: Damage and Consequences for U.S. and Global Security.”

It is based on interviews with dozens of former Trump officials, foreign government officials and outside foreign policy experts. 

Diplomats reported that counterparts did not take them seriously when they raised human rights issues or adherence to international law, the report states. The report also claims that the overarching message of Trump’s foreign policy was one of “chaos, neglect and diplomatic failures” that has alienated allies, emboldened autocrats, weakened U.S. security and “contributed to a worldwide decline in democracy.”   

The report makes at least four wide-ranging recommendations in rebuilding America’s standing abroad, presumably under a Biden administration, including investing in the State Department and building up a diplomatic corps of highly skilled individuals; mending relations with allies and partners; reasserting the U.S. position on promoting democracy and rejecting the rollback of democratic freedoms around the world; and addressing domestic racial discrimination and inequality to better advocate for respecting human rights abroad.