Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Donald Trump Is Silencing Those Who Might Restrain Him

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Donald Trump Is Silencing Those Who Might Restrain Him

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Donald Trump is silencing those who might restrain him

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An editorial from the Toronto Star, published March 13:

Is the world about to see Trump Unchained?

In the space of a week, Donald Trump has rid himself of two men who served as checks on his worst instincts. He's forced out his top advisers on economics and foreign affairs and promoted men who will egg him on as he pushes his nationalist "America First" agenda.

If you didn't like the first year of the Trump presidency, in other words, get ready to hate the second year even more.

On Tuesday, it was the turn of the hapless Rex Tillerson to go for the high jump as the president tweeted out his firing as secretary of state. In retrospect, the only surprise was that Tillerson lasted as long as he did after last summer's reports that he had called Trump a "moron" in a private meeting.

Tillerson was a relatively moderate voice on issues like climate change, Iran and North Korea. He'll be replaced by the hard-line CIA director Mike Pompeo, who is likely to reinforce Trump's most aggressive attitudes toward the rest of the world.

As a bonus, Trump's nominee to be the new CIA chief is Gina Haspel, best known for heading a secret agency torture program in Thailand after 9-11. Quite a pair.

And that's just this week. Remember all the way back to last week, when the former Goldman Sachs executive Gary Cohn quit as Trump's chief economic adviser after losing the argument on trade and tariffs that had been raging inside the White House?

The winner in that bureaucratic knife-fight was a previously obscure economist named Peter Navarro, who is closely aligned with Trump's views on economic nationalism and a fierce critic of so-called globalist policies.

It was Navarro who was the most vocal advocate of slapping tariffs on steel and aluminum imports into the United States, a measure ostensibly designed to hit back at Chinese protectionism but whose actual effect would be to fall most heavily on Canada and other U. …

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