Syria

Senate Democrats Look to Make Their Mark on Foreign Policy
With Obama no longer in the White House, minority party is stepping up

Maryland Sen. Benjamin L. Cardinsays there’s no shortage of foreign policy leaders among Senate Democrats. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Democrats are not shying away from criticizing the Trump administration when it comes to foreign policy.

It’s a new and potentially adversarial role: being in the minority while explosive headlines from conflicts abroad dominate the news.

Opinion: Scorecard — America After 100 Days of Trump
The good news is maybe the nation will endure the next four years

The good news is  despite President Donald Trump, the nation may weather the next four years, Walter Shapiro writes. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

It may be news to Donald Trump that the original One Hundred Days ended with Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo. In fact, if Trump learned about Napoleon from “Fox & Friends,” he would probably snarl, “I like my conquerors of Europe not to end up exiled to an island so remote you can’t even build a world-class hotel on it.”

The news media may be reeling in an era of fake news, but nothing halts the journalistic passion for predictable rituals like toting up presidential accomplishments after 14 weeks and 2 days in office. Trump himself would admit that he is no Franklin Roosevelt. After all, the 45th president would have spurned marrying a woman like Eleanor Roosevelt — who was never mistaken for an international fashion model when she was touring coal mines on behalf of FDR.

Top Dems Blast Trump’s First 100 Days, Border Wall Demands
Schumer: Best if president 'stepped out' of government shutdown-avoidance talks

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. — pictured here in March — on Monday had critical words for President Donald Trump. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated at 11:35 a.m. Democratic leaders slammed President Donald Trump on Monday for a “parade of broken promises to working people” during his first 100 days, and said his demands for border wall funding in a must-pass spending bill have stalled talks to avert a government shutdown.

Congressional Democrats are planning a week-long barrage to counter a White House public relations campaign to paint Trump’s first three-plus months as successful. They offered a preview of their messages on a conference call with reporters, with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York dubbing many of Trump’s campaign promises “broken” or “unfulfilled.”

Syria, Trump and Congress’ Ever-Eroding War Powers
Lawmakers lukewarm to a force-authorization measure for U.S. missile strike

President Donald Trump and his national security team receive a briefing on April 6 about an air strike he ordered on a Syrian air base. (White House photo)

President Donald Trump has gone to great lengths to break from the policies and approaches of his predecessor. Yet, when it came to justifying a round of U.S. military missile strikes in Syria, the new commander in chief dusted off a legal rationale crafted by Barack Obama’s administration.

Like the 44th president, Trump contended that the Constitution vests in the office of the presidency enough war powers to carry out some isolated military operations without lawmakers’ approval.

Analysis: Trump’s Bold Talk Replaced by ‘See What Happens’ Stoicism
From health care to North Korea to Russia, president now strikes a wait-and-see tone

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and U.S. President Donald Trump hold a news conference in the East Room of the White House April 12, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Donald Trump is taking a wait-and-see approach more and more often, following a 2016 campaign that espoused bold promises and exuded confidence.

Take his comments Thursday afternoon about an effort among White House officials and congressional Republicans to try again at repealing and replacing former President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care law.

Opinion: Weighing the Costs of War and Diplomacy
Military action is not always the courageous choice

Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly could do more listening and learning, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

John F. Kelly is getting a lot of criticism these days, and that’s understandable. As leader of the Department of Homeland Security, the retired Marine general now has to be more sensitive to the politics of any given situation.

So when he publicly said critics of his agency’s policies — whether they come from Congress, civil rights groups or the public — should “shut up,” he came off as what he once was, a military man giving orders. When the administration, Kelly’s department in particular, is challenged on its travel bans and inconsistent immigration enforcement, Kelly could do more listening and learning.

In Wisconsin, Trump Returns to ‘America First’ Message
Schumer slams Trump for ‘empty’ actions on jobs, trade

President Donald Trump signs an executive order to try to bring jobs back to American workers and revamp the H-1B visa guest worker program during a visit to the headquarters of tool manufacturer Snap-On on April 18, 2017 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump returned to his nationalist “America first” message on Tuesday after spending most of the previous 12 days focused on Syria and North Korea.

Trump, until he began speaking at a Snap-On Tools factory in Wisconsin, had appeared in recent days to be drifting a bit from the populist message that helped him win manufacturing states like the one he visited Tuesday, as well as Michigan, Ohio and others. But after touring the plant, he was back at it, hailing “American workers” and threatening countries that “steal” their jobs.

Corker Gets First Democratic Challenger for 2018
James Mackler is an Iraq veteran and Nashville attorney

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., easily won re-election in 2012 with about two-thirds of the vote. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Nashville attorney and Iraq war veteran James Mackler is the first Democrat to announce a challenge to Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker for 2018.

Mackler told the Tennessean that he is “running to restore respect, honesty, and most importantly, integrity in Washington.”

Some World Leaders Posture, Others Lavishly Praise Trump
NATO’s Stoltenberg was businesslike, but Japan’s Abe was effusive

President Donald Trump greets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he arrives at the White House on Feb. 10. Abe was effusive in his praise of the new president. (Mario Tama/Getty Images file photo)

Angela Merkel grimaced. Benjamin Netanyahu hung to his podium with a white-knuckle grip at Donald Trump’s every word. And Theresa May rejected Trump’s attempt to guide her down a White House colonnade ramp.

The German chancellor mostly played it cool during her first interaction with the new U.S. president, though she expressed confusion at one of his brash claims. The Israeli and British prime ministers each used their joint press conferences with Trump to try to box in the political neophyte.

After Saber Rattling, Trump More Measured on North Korea, Russia
Spicer contends president not changing stances, but 'entities' moving toward him

President Donald Trump, seen here with daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner, appeared eager to reassure the world Thursday morning after talking tough on North Korea and Russia. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

Updated at 1:56 p.m. After a week of tough talk about North Korea and Russia, President Donald Trump on Thursday morning changed course on both issues. The shift followed an eyebrow-raising 48 hours during which the president also appeared to reverse several domestic policy stances.

Just 18 hours after declaring he is prepared to “go it alone” to deal with North Korea’s nuclear weapons and long-range missile programs, Trump struck a more measured tone in a morning tweet Thursday. And he indicated a growing confidence that Chinese President Xi Jinping will assist in addressing the North Korea challenge.