An Australian journalist has delivered a savage takedown of Donald Trump, who has been an “uneasy, lonely, awkward figure” at the G20 summit this week.
Chris Uhlmann, political editor of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), told viewers that the US President had managed to “isolated his nation, confuse and alienate his allies and to diminish America” at the global summit of world leaders in Hamburg.
Uhlmann said Trump had “pressed fast forward on the decline of the United States as a global leader”.
Uhlmann’s comments in full:
“What we already knew.. is that the President of the United States has a particular skill set, that he’s identified an illness in Western democracies, but he has no cure for it and seems intent on exploiting it.
“And we’ve also learned that he has no desire and no capacity to lead the world. The G20 became the G19 as it ended. On the Paris climate accords, the US was left isolated and friendless. But given that that was always going to happen, a deft president would have found an issue around which he could rally most of the leaders.
“And he had the perfect one – North Korea’s missile tests. So where was the G20 statement condemning North Korea, which would have put pressure on China and Russia?
“Other leaders expected it. They were prepared to back it, but it never came.
“There’s a tendency among some hopeful souls to confuse the speeches written for Trump with the thoughts of the man himself. He did make some interesting, scripted observations in Poland about defending the values of the West. And he’s in a unique position.
“He’s the one man who the power to do something about it. But it’s the unscripted Trump that’s real: a man who barks out bile in a 140 characters, who wastes his precious days as president at war with the West institutions like the judiciary, independent government agencies and the free press.
“He was an uneasy, lonely, awkward figure at this gathering and you got the strong sense that some of the leaders are trying to find the best way to work around him.
“Donald Trump is a man who craves power because it burnishes his celebrity. To be constantly talking and talked about is all that really matters, and there is no value placed on the meaning of words. So what’s said one day can be discarded the next.
“So what did we learn? We learned that Donald Trump has pressed fast forward on the decline of the United States as a global leader. He managed to isolate his nation, to confuse and alienate his allies and to diminish America.
“He will cede that power to China and Russia. Two authoritarian states that will forge a very different set of rules for the 21st century.”
“Some will cheer the decline of America, but I think we will miss it when it’s gone, and that’s the biggest threat to the values of the West, which he claims to hold so dear.”
The Australian reporter’s comments were viewed tens of thousands of times on social media, receiving wide praise.
The issue of climate change was a particular sticking point during the summit. The US was the only member state not to sign a statement reaffirming the alliance’s support for international efforts to fight global warming.
The statement called the Paris climate accord, which Trump withdrew from last month, an “irreversible” global agreement.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Trump’s refusal to sign on to the statement was “regrettable.”
French President Emmanuel Macron said: “There are major differences, growing differences between major powers.
“There is the emergence of authoritarian regimes and even within the Western world there are major divisions, uncertainties, instabilities, that didn’t exist just a few short years ago.”
Yet despite the US’s isolated position on climate change, Trump hailed the G20 Summit as a “wonderful success”