Trump outlines ‘America first’ foreign policy

Republican presidential candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE called for the United States to “shake the rust off” its foreign policy and move toward an “America first” model in a focused effort Wednesday to outline how his potential administration would operate.
“We will no longer surrender this country or its people to the false song of globalism,” Trump promised during Wednesday’sclosely scrutinized address from a Washington hotel.
“Americans must know that we’re putting the American people first again,” he added.
“On trade, on immigration, on foreign policy, the jobs, incomes and security of the American worker will always be my first priority,” he said. “Both our friends and our enemies put their countries above ours, and we — while being fair to them — must start doing the same.”
Despite being relatively short on concrete policy specifics, Trump’s address offered the clearest look yet at his deep distrust of the international architecture that has dominated since the end of World War II in a sign of what a Trump administration might look like.
Trump delivered the address with the aid of a teleprompter to a smaller and much less boisterous crowd than is typical of his campaign rallies, which was interpreted as an attempt to unify the party after winning all five Northeastern primaries on Tuesday.
The audience of policy officials and think tank analysts responded with tepid applause, and reaction throughout Republican circles in Washington was generally mixed.
Supporters of the billionaire real estate mogul reveled in his willingness to abandon the U.S.’s integral role in global alliances, which they believe have benefited Americans minimally.
Critics pointed to apparent contradictions in the remarks and a lack of concrete specifics to claim that his ideas would undermine the U.S.’s role in the world.
“It was pathetic in its content, and it was scary in terms of its construct,” Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPence met with silence after mentioning Trump in Munich speech The Memo: Trump and McCabe go to war Graham seeks new Rosenstein testimony after explosive McCabe interview MORE (R-S.C.) said in a radio interview after Trump’s address. “Ronald Reagan is rolling over in his grave after this speech.”
The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, however, said Trumpdelivered a “very good foreign policy speech.”
“I look forward to hearing more details, but in a year where angry rhetoric has defined the presidential race on both sides of the aisle, it is my hope that candidates in both parties will begin focusing not only on the problems we face but on solutions,” Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger RNC votes to give Trump 'undivided support' ahead of 2020 Sen. Risch has unique chance to guide Trump on foreign policy MORE (R-Tenn.) said in a statement. “I believe today’s speech could be an important step in that direction.”
Trump’s prescription for elevating American stature around the world was to force new diplomatic negotiations and “be willing to walk” if the U.S. does not get its desired results.
If elected president, Trump promised to convene American allies from NATO and Asia for summits to discuss “a rebalancing of financial commitments” and also the adoption of “new strategies for tackling our common challenges,” such as terrorism and migration.
His skepticism of international alliances is one the many areas that have raised concern from foreign policy analysts, including prominent Republicans.
On Wednesday, he only briefly mentioned his call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country, which “will help us to prevent the next San Bernardino or, frankly, much worse.”
Critics have also been alarmed by his demand that Mexico pay for a wall along its border with the U.S., the suggestion that Japan and South Korea obtain nuclear weapons, and his support for extreme military action that could qualify as war crimes, none of which were explicitly mentioned on Wednesday.
The omissions hint at the apparent efforts within Trump’s campaign to back away from some of his more extreme tendencies as he marches closer to securing the GOP nomination.  
His campaign has previously suggested Trump would begin offering a more restrained and “presidential” image as he gets closer to securing the GOP nomination. However, the ­front-runner has appeared to backtrack on that planned evolution in recent days.
Trump’s previous efforts to reassure the think tank class in Washington have had mixed results.
His newly assembled team of national security advisers left many Washington hands scratching their heads, and Trump has yet to surround himself with the types of veterans that would normally complement a leading presidential candidate.
On Wednesday, Trump indicated that would not change anytime soon.
“We have to look to new people, because many of the old people, frankly, don’t know what they’re doing, even though they may look awfully good writing in The New York Times or being watched on television,” he said.
Trump first used the phrase “America first” during an interview with the Times earlier this year, but its origins date back decades. The name originally referred to skeptics of U.S. involvement in World War II, though Trump has so far declined to draw a connection with the history.
That absence, critics said on Wednesday, suggests he is unaware of the movement.
“If you don’t know enough history to know that that was the movement that tried to keep America out of World War II … that’s almost a disqualifier right there,” said Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants Kaine asks Shanahan if military families would be hurt by moving .6B for border wall Clinton on GOP promoting Trump 'stronger together' quote: Now copy my policies too MORE (D-Va.), who has been listed as a potential running mate for Clinton, on a conference call organized by her campaign.
“I thought that his real title should have been ‘Blame America first,’ ” he added. “It’s not America’s fault that nations around the world aren’t governing correctly.”