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In Missouri speech, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright lambastes Trump

Jack Suntrup, St. Louis Post-Dispatch on

Published in Political News

FULTON, Mo. -- Madeleine Albright, the nation's first female secretary of State, said in an address Thursday at Westminster College that democracy worldwide "appears to be in retreat."

Albright, who served under President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001, also unleashed criticism of President Donald Trump, whom she said was helping to dismantle a world order embraced by presidents of both political parties since the end of World War II.

"Because Missouri is the Show-Me State, I feel I must be blunt: Today we have a president who has become a source of comfort to anti-democratic forces across the globe, instead of rebutting and challenging them," Albright said to applause.

Since taking office, Trump has removed the United States from an international agreement to combat climate change, has erected trade barriers in hopes of striking new agreements with other countries, has attempted to improve ties between the United States and Russia, and has favored bilateral agreements instead of multilateral ones.

Albright said, "The president has picked fights with Europe over trade, climate change, Iran and NATO instead of rallying our democratic allies to push back against Russia and compete together against China."

She said Trump was working to "ignore, disparage and dismantle" an established international system of "problem solving and law."

 

"The president touts a world in which each country is only out for itself," Albright said. "It's a world in which the strong strut, the weak submit and people everywhere may be divided into patriots and subscribers to, and I quote, 'the ideology of globalism' -- whatever that means."

Albright said the United States must engage with the world, not isolate itself.

She said U.S. foreign policy today echoes its post-World War I attitude, when many "embraced protectionism, downplayed the rise of fascism, opposed help to the victims of oppression and ultimately endangered our world's security.

"There's hardly a major challenge in the world today that does not require like-minded countries to work together for the benefit of all," Albright said.

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