President Trump will highlight progress of his "America First" agenda when he speaks to the United Nations General Assembly onTuesday, in effect spiking the football at what his secretary of state described as the "Super Bowl of diplomacy."
"Under President Trump, we are certainly leading from the front," said top U.S. diplomat Mike Pompeo, even if many of the president's initiatives have had the effect of pulling the U.S. away from the international community.
Watch his address live here:
Trump has withdrawn the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal, the Paris climate accordand an Asia-Pacific trade pact, while imposing steep tariffs on both allies and adversaries. But even as the president champions what he calls America's "sovereignty," aides insist his strategy is not simply go-it-alone.
"The United States is determined to be involved in multi-lateral organizations where we see it," said U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. "But not in the way that they're mandated on what the United States does or that infringes on the American people."
The administration has slashed aid to Palestinians, dramatically reduced the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. and threatened to impose sanctions on the International Criminal Court should it try to investigate members of the U.S. armed forces.
Pompeo argues that the president's focus on defending American sovereignty has paid dividends for both the U.S. and the rest of the world.
Tensions with North Korea have eased since last year's General Assembly, when Trump called Kim Jong Un "rocket man," and threatened to "totally destroy" the country if it threatened the U.S. or its allies.
On Monday, Trump described Kim as "really very open and terrific," and said he's working towards a second face-to-face meeting with the North Korean leader.
"I think a lot of progress is being made," Trump said, although so far North Korea has shown little concrete action towards eliminating its illicit nuclear program.
If the president's approach to North Korea has softened in the last year, his attitude towards Iran has not.
Pompeo said the U.S. considers Iran the leading state sponsor of terrorism. The country's behavior will be a major focus on Wednesday when Trump leads a meeting of the U.N. Security Council.
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