President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with business leaders in the State Department Library on the White House complex in Washington, Tuesday, April 11, 2017.
Evan Vucci

White House: Thanks to Trump, we are now ‘respected,’ ‘feared,’ and ‘loved’

Deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley has developed something of a reputation for delivering notable quotes. In February, for example, a day after the Justice Department brought criminal charges against Russian operatives who attacked our democracy, Gidley seemed eager to defend the Russians, saying it’s Democrats and American journalists who were actually responsible for creating “chaos.”

It was around this time that the president’s deputy press secretary also described Trump as “a real-life Superman.”

Over the weekend, Gidley presented us with a new gem.

“We are now respected, we are now feared, we are now loved because of this president. He has good relationships with our partners and allies. In fact, I would even argue they’re stronger.”

Stronger than what, he didn’t say, though I suppose Gidley probably meant U.S. relationships with “our partners and allies” have improved as compared to the Obama era.

The trouble, of course, is that reality keeps getting in the way.

Indeed, we talked about this just last week. The president’s deputy press secretary may have missed it, but earlier this year, Gallup published a report that found, “One year into Donald Trump’s presidency, the image of U.S. leadership is weaker worldwide than it was under his two predecessors.

What’s more, the Gallup report came on the heels of a separate study, published last year by the Pew Research Center, which also found that Trump’s presidency isn’t just unpopular around the globe, it’s also undermined international support for the United States. 

Which brings us back to Gidley’s boast: “We are now respected, we are now feared, we are now loved because of this president.” Around the globe, respect for the United States has quantifiably declined in the wake of Trump’s presidency, and there’s certainly no evidence of greater “love” for the country since the Republican took office.

If we’re being charitable, I suppose one could make a credible argument that we’re “feared” – having an amateur president rant and rave about “fire and fury” while describing himself as a “very stable genius” is rather scary – but with Gidley’s argument in mind, one out of three really isn’t great.

Donald Trump and Foreign Policy

White House: Thanks to Trump, we are now 'respected,' 'feared,' and 'loved'