Was the State of the Union address a unifying pep talk, or mere partisan pandering? RT’s diverse panel of experts debated Donald Trump’s most contentious remarks about domestic and foreign policy – and of course, his border wall.
RT tapped more than 10 analysts from across the political spectrum to dissect Trump’s speech. On the domestic front, the panelists locked horns on Trump’s unwavering opposition to abortion. Conservative commentator Deanna Lorraine told RT that she was pleasantly surprised by the president’s decision to devote so much time to the polarizing issue.
Trump doubled-down on his pledge to build a wall along the border with Mexico – a vow that peeved liberal panelists. Former Georgia State Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler said that the Democrats aren’t against a secure border. The problem, she insisted, is that Trump is “putting all his focus on a wall. A wall that will do what? All the illegal drugs are mostly coming in from legal points of entry.”
Despite their opposition to Trump’s immigration policy, liberal panelists acknowledged that Trump deserved credit for criminal justice reform.
The panel was particularly unimpressed by Trump’s utterances regarding foreign policy. Former US diplomat and GOP Senate foreign policy adviser Jim Jatras criticized Trump’s fixation on increasing military spending.
“Now [Trump] is threatening to have a new arms race with the Russians and the Chinese. We spend 10 times as much as the Russians, three times as much as the Chinese. Not enough money isn’t our problem here. It is because the strategy is all wrong. I think he knows that,” Jatras said.
Former Pentagon official Michael Maloof pointed out that, despite Trump’s claim that he was opposed to “foolish wars,” the president continues to “imply regime change” in places such as Venezuela and Iran.
Watch the full panel discussion below:
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