If you ever wondered about Donald Trump's foreign policy doctrine, Jeffrey Goldberg's report in The Atlantic might reveal this administration's philosophy. The magazine's editor-in-chief reported that he spoke with several White House officials, including one who supposedly said, "Trump's foreign policy doctrine is 'We’re America, B*tch.' That’s the Trump Doctrine." Bustle has reached out to the White House for comment on the report.
Goldberg wrote that he was "struck" by the description the official gave him as it was "the most acute, and attitudinally honest, description of the manner in which members of Trump’s team, and Trump himself, understand their role in the world."
The same White House official told Goldberg that the current presidency has sought to differentiate its approach to foreign diplomacy from previous administrations. "Obama apologized to everyone for everything. He felt bad about everything," the official told Goldberg. Trump, on the other hand, "doesn’t feel like he has to apologize for anything America does," according to the official.
The White House official also apparently said that Trump's doctrine came down to prioritizing the United States above the rest. People can "take it or leave it," the official reportedly told Goldberg. But that wasn't the only answer he received when he attempted to decipher the current presidency's foreign policy doctrine. Another Trump administration official supposedly told Goldberg, "No Friends, No Enemies."
The report may not surprise those who are aware of Trump's official foreign policy, which can be summed up in two words: "America First." Critics of this policy, however, warn that Trump's America-above-all philosophy may alienate its allies, create hostility, and isolate the United States from the global village.
The same official that told Goldberg about Trump's supposed "No Friends, No Enemies" philosophy also reportedly said, "We have to explain to him that countries that have worked with us together in the past expect a level of loyalty from us, but he doesn’t believe that this should factor into the equation."
On top of that, a national security official told Goldberg that regional discord played to the advantage of the United States. It is apparently a benefit to America if key countries remain "off-balance" with each other, according to this official. The same individual reportedly told Goldberg, "Permanent destabilization creates American advantage."
When Goldberg begged to differ with the official and suggested Trump's foreign policy could be pushing allies away from the country, the official reportedly told Goldberg, "They’ll see over time that it doesn’t pay to argue with us."
One figure who spoke with Goldberg, though, especially stood out, as he suggested that Trump's philosophy was based on opposing Obama more than anything or anyone else. "People criticize [Trump] for being opposed to everything Obama did," the supposed friend to Trump said, "but we’re justified in canceling out his policies."
If "We're America, b*tch" wasn't enough to shock observers, Trump's friend reportedly told Goldberg, "There’s the Obama Doctrine, and the 'F*ck Obama' Doctrine. We’re the 'F*ck Obama' Doctrine."
It's worth noting there's absolutely no proof that these officials' statements in any way reflect Trump's own thoughts. However, it is a fact that the administration has made moves that do strain its relationship with other countries and communities. For example, it's built up tension with Canada over steel and aluminum tariffs, removed America from the 2015 Paris climate accord, reportedly called El Salvador, Haiti, and African nations "sh*thole countries," and re-shared anti-Muslim content on social media, among other things. Regardless of what officials reportedly told Goldberg, the conflict Trump's "America First" policy has caused might be hard to undo, even after he's out of office.