One month of Trump in the White House

One decree after another, attacks on the media, contradictory behaviour and foreign policy statements and a resignation in his team: that's the tally after Donald Trump's first month as US President. Europe's press tries to assess what these first weeks say about the US under Trump.

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24 Chasa (BG) /

Intelligence agencies won't let Trump off the hook

Donald Trump has fearlessly attacked the media, judges and state institutions but the intelligence agencies are too tough a nut for him to crack, 24 Chasa is convinced:

“The FBI exposed the secret Russia contacts of Trump's national security advisor Michael Flynn, after which Flynn resigned. ... A few days later he was followed by the nominee for labor secretary and Trump confidante Andrew Puzder when it came out that he had employed an undocumented migrant to clean his house. Add to that the incredible story about Trump having Russian prostitutes urinate on a bed Obama once slept in, which also reached the media through intelligence sources. It remains unclear if that really happened, nevertheless the story has done significant damage to Trump's image. ... The intelligence agencies are peeling Trump like an onion, layer by layer, letting him know that they've got even more information about him up their sleeve.”

The Times (GB) /

Finally a fresh wind in global politics

Barack Obama left his country's foreign policy in a shambles so it can't be such a bad thing for Donald Trump to break new ground, The Times is convinced:

“At the moment America's allies, and indeed its adversaries, are confused. It is impossible not to note the huge break between the president and his predecessors in terms of their public utterances on subjects ranging from Nato to Iran to Israel. ...One optimistic view is that the president is providing a much-needed challenge to conventional thinking after years of the failed foreign policy of President Obama. More important, however, is that he has picked a reassuring senior team. General McMaster, secretary of state Rex Tillerson and General James Mattis, the secretary of defence, are figures likely to make European leaders sleep more easily in their beds.”

Yeni Şafak (TR) /

Capitalism is gobbling up its children

Trump is a symptom of the crisis, not a cause, the Islamic conservative daily Yeni Şafak writes:

“Western civilisation is not experiencing an earthquake because of Trump and Brexit; Trump and Brexit have emerged because an earthquake has occurred deep below the surface. What we are seeing on the surface is not the cause, but the result. Even if Trump were deposed tomorrow and the Brexit process were broken off this wouldn't stop the earthquake. Because these decisions are not the product of fleeting anger. Broad sections of the population took them after a prolonged process of fermentation. Even if Trump were to leave, the people who voted for him would vote for someone similar in the next election. ... The fundamental concepts, the most cherished values, and the cornerstones of the Western world are beginning to totter. The strongest arguments and concepts of the modern era - more control (imperialism), more income (capitalism) and expansion (globalisation) - are becoming the greatest scourge of Western society.”

Habertürk (TR) /

Republicans won't drop him

Trump's latest actions only confirm his incompetence but he still isn't losing support in his own camp, Habertürk observes:

“Trump, the individual, is not a person who possesses the necessary sense of responsibility, the stability, the knowledge or the farsightedness to be President Trump. ... But the Republicans in Congress will continue to support him at least for a while because of his tax-reduction agenda, his streamlining of the social welfare state and because he wants to deregulate everything, starting with environmental protection. ... One of the main dynamics that paved the way for Trump's election was the failure of the liberal-capitalist elites to fulfil the expectations of broad segments of the population. Coupled with the cultural battle between local patriotism and cosmopolitanism, an intense search for populistic, anti-democratic, authoritarian initiatives began. Until these conditions change, the Trump voters' support for the president won't melt away so easily.”

The Irish Times (IE) /

Who will win, Trump or the US constitution?

Judging by all that has happened in Trump's first 30 days in office there's every reason to believe he won't make it to the end of his term, the Irish Times believes:

“In his first month Trump has declared war on the intelligence agencies and the media. It looks like the judicial branch is next on his list of enemies. There is no middle ground in Trump's Washington. Either the forces that are against the president will bring him down or he will destroy the system. ... Trump is not a reformable character. The more besieged he becomes, the more he lashes out. He is now vowing an investigation into leaks and an implied purge of disloyal officers. It is hard to predict how long it would take to resolve the battle between Trump and the so-called deep state. It is also hard to say how long a Republican Congress could stand the heat. ... Multiply the past four weeks by three, or six, or nine. The neutral ground will vanish. At some point this will boil down to a choice between Trump and the US constitution.”

Libération (FR) /

Good news everywhere

Trump's first month in the White House has also seen a series of positive developments, Libération writes consolingly:

“We've seen judges and the American civil society mobilised over the Muslim ban to show that part of America is ready to take concrete steps against clear democratic lapses. We've seen Silicon Valley giants put their legendary neutrality behind them and criticise the new president's decisions. We've seen the media get organised faced with a massive and sytematic destabilisation of the press - one of the keys to a working democracy. We've read incredible reports on these first weeks at the White House. ... We've seen creativity on the Internet and television with numerous spontaneous global parodies of Donald Trump's actions. We've even seen China lecturing the president on climate issues. ... One might even be inclined to think that, all things considered, these are good times.”

Blog David McWilliams (IE) /

Trump wants to cut out the media

The US president's intensive use of Twitter and virulent criticism of the established media represent a completely new communication style, economist and blogger David McWilliams comments:

“He aims to do to the Washington establishment what Airbnb did to hotels and Uber did to taxi drivers. He aims to disrupt everything and cut out the middlemen. ... From now on, the relationship he intends to have with the American people (at least his American people) will not be mediated by the media. It will not be conditional on getting the 'thumbs up or thumbs down' from the commentariat and it will not be determined by experts. It will be as one to one. By deploying Twitter, he has cut out the media. This is radical stuff and a total departure from decades, possibly centuries, of form.”

Le Figaro (FR) /

Stop the eternal tweeting

Trump is still acting like he's still a presidential candidate rather than president, Le Figaro comments:

“An efficient government follows a different logic to that of an efficient election campaign, and the 45th president gives the impression of being an eternal candidate. 'Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen' said the 'Old Lion' Winston Churchill. Will Trump be able to sit down and stop his eternal tweeting? He needs to drop his campaign posture and adopt that of one of Roosevelt's successors.”

El Periódico de Catalunya (ES) /

Judiciary and media show the limits of power

Trump's first month in office has put him in his place, El Periódico de Catalunya observes:

“In just under a month Trump has discovered that power - even his own - has its limits. The first limit was imposed when a judge suspended the presidential order banning citizens from certain predominantly Muslim countries from entering the country, and a court of appeals upheld the suspension in order to examine the constitutionality of the measure. And the resignation of extremist Michael Flynn has revealed the intelligence services' high level of distrust regarding the new presidency and the extent of the opacity in its relations with the Kremlin. You can't turn a country's international relations upside down from one day to the next. After an initial flirt with Taiwan Trump has ended up bowing to China by admitting to President Xi Jinping that the US will maintain the One-China policy.”