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Politics and Government

Trump Tuesday in Syracuse: A focus on foreign policy

Ellen Abbott
WRVO News File Photo
The Trump Tuesday rally held in Syracuse on February 21, 2017.

The latest Trump Tuesday rally in Syracuse had a decidedly academic feel. Dozens of Trump opponents, as well as a group of Trump supporters, met in Perseverance Park to discuss the Trump administration dealings with Russia. Syracuse University Professor Emeritus, and former US Ambassador Goodwin Cooke brought some historical perspective.

Cooke says he’s not very impressed with Trump’s foreign policy acumen at this point.

"He’s doing this just off the cuff,” Cooke says. “I don’t think he’s prepared. I don’t think he’s done his brief. I don’t think he’s done his homework. And eventually it’ll come through to others that he’s got to be kept at the side. There are plenty of sensible people in the government. We’ve got to get them to the forefront somehow.”

Credit Ellen Abbott / WRVO News
Syracuse University Professor Emeritus, and former US Ambassador Goodwin Cooke.

"I don't think he's prepared. I don't think he's done his brief. I don't think he's done his homework."

Cooke spent many years in foreign service for the US government. He says the way to deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he called a thug, is to understand where he’s coming from and then use the proper channels in the State Department.

"I think the Russians can eventually be talked to,” Cooke says. “I think Putin is still mad at us. And Russians are, so they boost him. And when he gets tough, Russians say ‘Isn’t that great?’”

Ultimately, Cooke says, Trump won’t do the negotiating with Russia regarding their aggression into the Ukraine -- that will be up to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whom Cooke called “very promising.” And while he admitted that these aren’t very easy times for Americans who oppose Trump , he says they will pass.

"I think America’s democracy is stronger even than a clown like Donald Trump. I think we’ll survive it. Not happily.”