“There’s no guarantee you can change a person’s behavior,” Biden said on Sunday. “Autocrats have enormous power and they don’t have to answer to a public. The fact is that it very well may be that if I respond in kind, which I will, that it doesn’t dissuade him — he wants to keep going.”
Things don’t get much easier when Biden files home. Senate Republican Minority leader Mitch McConnell has established a position of total obstruction against Biden and it is possible he could scupper last-ditch compromise talks on a bipartisan infrastructure bill the President is eyeing as a big win. And the concessions Biden will be forced to make to woo GOP support might make it difficult to get all his Democrats on board in a tightly balanced Congress.
No one said it’s easy being President.
Biden has moved on from Cornwall to Brussels, where he’ll meet with NATO partners on Monday.
Some simple courtesy could go a long way toward reinforcing the defense alliance after years of corrosive behavior by his predecessor. The US became something of a dreaded presence at summits after then-President Donald Trump repeatedly berated fellow leaders over their financial contributions, and in 2017 even shoved Montenegro’s Prime Minister Dusko Markovic just to reach the front of the group.
Trump has left the White House. But his scandals keep on coming.
Reporters from the New York Times and Washington Post have also been informed that email or phone records were seized by the Department in separate leak investigations. The revelations appear to indicate yet more examples of the Trump team shattering the barrier of independence supposed to exist between the Justice Department and the White House. All of the targets involved in these investigations were exposing earlier alleged transgressions by the President. This sure looks like an intimidation campaign against his perceived enemies.
The question now is which officials were involved? Was this all orchestrated by Trump? And are the cases we have seen emerge just the first indications of a much wider scandal?
Democrats who run Congressional committees are pledging to find out. And a familiar dilemma is coming into view. Will Republicans choose to stand up for the rule of law and democracy? Or will they yet again shield the man who is still their party’s effective leader — and who is dreaming of a White House comeback?
After previous tense summits involving former US President Donald Trump, he added, the summit which concluded Sunday has “shown that we have rediscovered a language that is more familiar to us, where developed economies, whatever their disagreements on regional issues…nevertheless share the essential and have the will to coordinate to defend their values, the reform of their systems and their ability to act together in the face of the great contemporary challenges.”