Brett Velicovich: Trump scores big at this year’s G20

President Trump is a natural-born diplomat – and his stellar performance at this year’s G20 summit proves it.

While the Democrats were dealing with the fallout from the political circus they put on during their first round of presidential primary debates in Florida, the president spent the weekend working with foreign leaders to solve some of the most important geopolitical challenges facing America.

At the beginning of the summit, President Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss possible resolutions to the ongoing security predicaments in Iran, Venezuela, and Syria. Russia is at odds with America’s approach to all three of those countries, providing moral and material support to brutal dictators whom the U.S. wants to see ousted, and the president’s conversation with Putin was an important step toward reducing those tensions.

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Trump also held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India – a vital discussion that focused on improving bilateral trade relations between the world’s wealthiest, most powerful democracy and the world’s most populous democracy.

Predictably, the liberal media were quick to attack Donald Trump’s actions, accusing him of cozying up to hostile leaders.

More importantly, Donald Trump arranged an impromptu meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, becoming the first U.S. president to cross into the hermit kingdom. The meeting wasn’t just symbolic, either – both countries agreed to resume the denuclearization talks that stalled when Trump walked out of the most recent summit in response to North Korea’s demands for sanctions relief.

Trump’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping produced a similar result – the president noted that the talks "went better than expected" after China recently reneged on previous commitments. Although some had feared that the talks would stall, he confirmed that U.S. diplomats will “start where they left off with China” as the two sides resume bilateral negotiations in pursuit of a historic trade deal.

Predictably, the liberal media were quick to attack Donald Trump’s actions, accusing him of cozying up to hostile leaders.

CNN’s Jim Acosta, for instance, asked if the president was “afraid of offending” the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman, when he declined to comment about the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Washington Post also criticized President Trump for meeting with U.S. adversaries, publishing an article with the headline, “Trump appears more at ease with strongmen than democratic leaders at G-20 summit.”

What the biased press fail to understand is that this president is not a warmonger like so many of his recent predecessors. He doesn’t want America to become a militant crusader against every autocrat on the planet, and that means occasionally having to hold dialogues with foreign leaders we might find distasteful.

Donald Trump’s foreign policy vision is crystal clear – American interests must come first. Washington should not sacrifice those interests for the sake of “liberating” foreign populations or telling them how to draft their constitutions. Nor should it reject cooperation with foreign governments just because they don’t share all of America’s values. After all, President Franklin D. Roosevelt wasn’t above working with the totalitarian Soviet Union to defeat the forces of fascism in World War II.

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Crucially, President Trump also understands that peace is a product of diplomacy and that it’s impossible to improve America’s relations with hostile powers without talking to them first. That’s precisely why the president takes every opportunity to hold discussions with foreign leaders, a practice that has already opened the door to important negotiations with countries such as North Korea, Russia, and China.

In contrast to his detractors, who refuse to believe that America has anything to gain from engaging in diplomacy with our adversaries, Donald Trump is determined to pursue every avenue available for ensuring peace and prosperity for the American people. That’s what the art of diplomacy is all about.

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