Oh Wait—Donald Trump Decides He Has a Foreign Policy Team After All

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


After finally telling us that he didn’t need a foreign policy team because he was his own team, Donald Trump made yet another U-turn today and announced his foreign policy team. It’s enough to make you dizzy. I’ll let Robert Costa introduce them:

Keith Kellogg…executive vice president at CACI International, a Virginia-based intelligence and information technology consulting firm…. Joseph Schmitz…Blackwater Worldwide…. George Papadopoulos… international energy center at the London Center of International Law Practice…. Walid Phares…National Defense University and Daniel Morgan Academy in Washington…. Carter Page…managing partner of Global Energy Capital [and] longtime energy industry executive.

This is quite a team. Kellogg was COO of the Coalition Provisional Authority in 2003-04 under Paul Bremer, and we all know how that turned out. Schmitz is the son of noted Southern California crackpot John Schmitz—which I suppose I can’t hold against him—and served as inspector general of the Defense Department under George Bush. He resigned in 2005 following charges that he “slowed or blocked investigations of senior Bush administration officials, spent taxpayer money on pet projects and accepted gifts that may have violated ethics guidelines.”

Papadopoulos is on his second presidential campaign this year, having previously found a home with Ben Carson. Phares is well known to all Fox News viewers for his regular appearances there—and for his background during the 80s as a “high ranking political official in a sectarian religious militia responsible for massacres during Lebanon’s brutal, 15-year civil war.”

Page I don’t know much about. Apparently he’s the head of an investment fund “focused on energy investments worldwide,” and that’s good enough for Trump.

So….this is a helluva C-list crew Trump has assembled. A guy who worked for Paul Bremer; the son of John Schmitz; a former Ben Carson advisor; a Fox News talking head; and a Wall Street fund manager.

As for Trump’s actual foreign policy, apparently it’s the same as always: he’s super militaristic, but he doesn’t want to actually use the American military for much of anything. He’d like other countries to start taking care of Ukraine and NATO and the South China Sea—or, if they insist on America doing it, he’d like them to pay us for it. Apparently Trump’s ambition is to sit at the head of a vast American tribute empire.

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate