Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday November 2, 2017
World sees Trump as a weakened president
If you think it’s only Americans who are watching the news of a criminal indictment and a guilty plea of Trump campaign officials in the Russia probe, think again. Not only is the entire world following the dramatic developments, but world leaders, in particular, are keeping a close eye on a case that weakens President Donald Trump domestically — and has the potential to bring an early end to his presidency.
There’s never a good time for a president to see former aides indicted, but Monday’s events — the indictment and arrest of two campaign officials, including the former Trump presidential campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and a guilty plea by foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, who admitted to communicating with people he believed to be linked to the Kremlin to get “dirt” on Hillary Clinton and arrange a meeting between Putin and Trump — came just a few days before Trump is scheduled to leave on a major trip to Asia. The timing could hardly be worse.
The stunning events made front page news from Chile to the Czech Republic. And there is no question that China’s President Xi Jinping, now more powerful than ever, is being closely briefed on the case. So is North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, as well as Iran’s supreme leader and others.
When global figures see an embattled President, they will see a wounded President. Trump has deliberately tried to make himself unpredictable, even frightening, to America’s adversaries. That fear element will now be magnified. Global (and domestic) audiences will wonder how his decision-making may be affected by his political troubles. (Continued: CNN)