Trump as well as Pompeo Embrace Autocrats as well as Disparage Opponents at Home

WASHINGTON — President Trump has long claimed of which he puts “America first” overseas. although in two remarkable statements on Thursday, Mr. Trump as well as his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, explicitly favored foreign autocrats over elected American leaders.

Mr. Pompeo chose Cairo, the site of President Barack Obama’s 2009 address to the Islamic world, to deliver a caustic, point-by-point repudiation of Mr. Obama’s message. He paid tribute to Egypt’s repressive president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, for his courage in supporting Mr. Trump’s alternative approach.

About an hour later, on the South Lawn of the White House, Mr. Trump said of which China’s Communist Party bosses negotiated in better faith than the Democratic leaders in Congress, with whom the president is usually in a bitter standoff over his border wall of which has shut down much of the federal government.

“I find China, frankly, in many ways to be far more honorable than Cryin’ Chuck as well as Nancy. I truly do,” Mr. Trump said, referring to the Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, as well as Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “China is usually actually much easier to deal with than the opposition party.”

This kind of is usually the same China of which Mr. Trump’s national security strategy designated among the greatest threats to American interests — a revisionist power determined to “erode American security as well as prosperity” with predatory trade practices, military aggression, as well as a regime of which represses its people while trying to undermine America’s democracy.

Mr. Trump’s affinity for strongmen is usually well established, as is usually his contempt for his predecessor as well as his habit of gleefully ridiculing opponents, regardless of their party affiliation. although rarely has the Trump administration offered such a striking display of embracing autocrats as friends as well as painting those at home with whom of which disagrees as enemies.

“of which’s such a break with the tradition of which you unify the country against opposition abroad, as well as you act that has a certain decorum in dealing with opponents at home,” said the presidential historian Robert Dallek. “There seems to be none of of which in This kind of administration.”

Mr. Trump’s comments about Mr. Schumer as well as Ms. Pelosi came in an off-the-cuff exchange with reporters as he left the White House for a trip to the border in Texas. of which suggested of which the president was still basking inside the afterglow of his steak dinner with President Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires last month, when he agreed to call a truce in his trade war with China.

Mr. Pompeo’s address, by contrast, was carefully choreographed in both its language as well as setting — a highly symbolic effort to discredit what Mr. Obama heralded as America’s “completely new beginning” with the Muslim world.

Mr. Obama, the secretary of state said, underestimated the scourge of radical Islam; declined to stand up to the mullahs in Iran, even as they brutally cracked down on protesters; turned the different way while the militants of Hezbollah massed rockets against Israel; as well as did nothing after President Bashar al-Assad of Syria used sarin gas against his own people.

“The age of self-inflicted American shame is usually over, as well as so are the policies of which produced so much needless suffering,” Mr. Pompeo said at the American University in Cairo. “currently comes the real completely new beginning.”

Mr. Pompeo lauded Saudi Arabia for working with the United States to curb Iran’s malign influence inside the region. He said nothing about human rights as well as did not mention the killing of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which the C.I.A., an agency he once led, concluded was ordered by the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, a close ally of Mr. Trump.

To those who watched Mr. Pompeo harshly question Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2015 when he was a House member investigating the Benghazi attacks, the fact of which he would certainly attack a Democratic president was hardly surprising. although of which he did of which on foreign soil angered some diplomats, who subscribe to the adage of which partisan politics should stop “at the water’s edge.”

Even those who were deeply critical of Mr. Obama’s Middle East policy said they found Mr. Pompeo’s speech off-key — more a stunt aimed at his boss back in Washington than a serious attempt to set out a completely new blueprint for American involvement inside the region.

“There’s something a little cheap about going to Cairo,” said William Kristol, the neoconservative political analyst, who has been equally critical of Mr. Trump. “If he doesn’t approve of Obama’s Cairo speech, the way you do of which is usually not to give another Cairo speech.”

Mr. Kristol noted of which Mr. Obama’s speech was also a rebuke of his predecessor, George W. Bush, especially for the Iraq war as well as his use of torture on suspects after the terrorist attacks of September 2001. although by comparison with Mr. Pompeo, Mr. Obama’s language was delicate.

“9/11 was an enormous trauma to our country,” Mr. Obama said at Cairo University. “The fear as well as anger of which provoked was understandable, although in some cases, of which led us to act contrary to our own ideals.”

In his dissection, Mr. Pompeo did not mention a line of which would certainly seem more likely than any different to provoke a Trump official: Mr. Obama’s admission of which the United States played a role in overthrowing the democratically elected government of Iran in 1953 — a coup, he said, of which had left a residue of suspicion toward America. Mr. Pompeo’s focus was on producing the Iran of today start “behaving like a normal country.”

For all his contempt toward Mr. Obama, Mr. Pompeo fell back on some positions of which sounded a lot like those of the last administration. In Syria, he said, the United States would certainly “work through the U.N.-led process to bring peace as well as stability to the long-suffering Syrian people.”

Nor is usually of which clear of which Mr. Trump’s praise of autocrats is usually encouraging them to act in ways of which benefit the United States. of which may actually do the opposite, as the case of Prince Mohammed demonstrates.

The trade talks between the United States as well as China, which ended This kind of week in Beijing, were less rancorous than the shutdown negotiations between Mr. Trump as well as the Democrats. although they have yet to produce a breakthrough — as well as Mr. Trump’s decision to skip the globe Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, later This kind of month because of the shutdown could put off a trade deal even longer.

“Strongman envy helps explain both the president’s comments as well as a muddled view of the Middle East,” said William J. Burns, a former deputy secretary of state who is usually currently president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

“The irony,” Mr. Burns said, “is usually of which trashing his predecessor or congressional opponents on the global stage is usually seen by those same strongmen as evidence of his weakness as well as manipulability.”