Trump is responding to both his domestic political opponents and America’s actual enemies with the same tactics: blunt, repetitive messaging and use of the walk-off. He is sometimes rude, often full of unnecessary slashes, but always direct. (It often seems as if Trump answers more questions from reporters in a walk to the helicopter than President Barack Obama did in formal press conferences.) And there is a transparent candor — what he actually is thinking at that moment — combined with a willingness to walk out of a charade.
Trump believes China badly mishandled the near-endgame of the trade negotiations. He doesn’t want a war with Iran (but don’t think about striking an American ship). He can smile at Putin and Kim Jong Un, do endless grips-and-and-grins with them, and not reduce sanctions on either of them an iota until he gets a deal. He’d do a real with Iran too, not a faux “breakthrough” like Obama had. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has outlined an Iran deal often, and it begins with the release of Americans unjustly held prisoner in Iran and with the ending of that country’s export of chaos and terror.
Trump is not an adventurer, but he is a brawler. Syria has twice been on the receiving end of a fusillade of missiles for crossing red lines. The Trump walkouts on squabbling, showboating Democrats, like the walk out on Kim in Hanoi, have broadcast his go-to move.