Washington ‘Extremely Concerned’ as majority of ASEAN Leaders skip US Summit over Trump’s No-Show

…from Sputnik News, Moscow

[ Editor’s Note: So Trump snubs the ASEAN conference, and they return the favor; then we have the US “spokesman” having the gall to say their snub will be bad for US relations. Is the Trump-flub disease spreading down into the State Department?

To say that the US is committed to the region and then Trump does not show up, not even a VP or Secretary of State for the 2nd time in a row, rings hollow. Domestic diplomats are supposed to guide an “unprepared” leader through the protocol on how not to make goofs like this.

This is what happens when you have a president that is “winging it” and is uncomfortable with being “corrected”. He is intimidated by experienced professional staff who know a lot more than he does, so he brings in political flunkies, as they are good butt-kissers.

The country gets hurt in the process with avoidable silliness like this happening. I would suspect that Trump is really focused on not only “impeachment one”, which is coming up, but “impeachment two” waiting in the wings when his appeals run out on the New York attorney general wanting his tax returns.

It will be harder for the Senate Repubs to brush that off, since an appeals court has ruled that a sitting president is not immune from criminal prosecution. The whole idea of releasing tax returns ahead of time was to avoid such issues even coming up. Everyone before Trump had released their returns.

Trump had a good reason for not showing his; and I think we are all going to find out why. Many of his legal cases that were handled civilly, like his school scam. We would not have gotten off with settlements and fines, but he didJim W. Dean ]

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Modern Bangkok

– First published … November 11, 2019

President Trump did not attend this year’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Bangkok, Thailand, with the US represented instead by his national security advisor, Robert O’Brien.

A US diplomat has voiced Washington’s ‘extreme’ concern over the move by the majority of ASEAN’s leaders not to personally attend a special ASEAN-US summit on Monday.

“We are extremely concerned by the apparent decision,” the diplomat said, commenting on the snub, his remarks quoted by Kyodo News.

“A full or partial boycott by ASEAN leaders will be seen as an intentional effort to embarrass the President of the United States of America and this will be very damaging to the substance of the ASEAN-US relations,” the diplomat added.

The heads of state and government of seven of ASEAN’s ten members moved to skip the ASEAN-US Summit slated to take place on Monday.

The leaders of Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar and the Philippines downgraded their representation at Monday’s summit with the US by sending only their foreign ministers, with only a ‘troika’ comprising the prime ministers of Thailand, Vietnam and Laos showing up to the meeting with O’Brien.

The demonstrative decision was made on Friday, according to diplomatic sources cited by Kyodo News.

The downgraded presence appeared to be tied to President Trump’s decision not to personally attend the ASEAN Leaders Summit and East Asian Summit in Bangkok on November 2-4, and not to send the vice president or the secretary of state in his place.
An ASEAN source confirmed to Kyodo News that the bloc of nations was “upset with US President Trump who decided to skip the meeting,” adding that the view was that Trump “should at least send a representative who is in the cabinet. Such a gesture may set a bad example for other dialogue partners in the future.”

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross did travel to Bangkok along with O’Brien, where he said that the Trump administration was “extremely engaged in and fully committed to this region.”

This was the second year in a row that Trump has failed to show up at the annual gathering of Southeast Asian nations. Last year, Vice President Mike Pence attended the 33rd ASEAN Summit in Singapore. Trump attended the summit in Manila, the Philippines in 2017.

Late last week, following reports that Trump would not attend the Bangkok Summit, Panitan Wattanayagorn, chairman of the security advisory committee for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, told the Bangkok Post that there were a number of possible reasons for Trump to skip summits.

SOURCESputnik News

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  1. Here’s Trump, lashing out at Obama for spying on him and blasting Comey for digging up collusion dirt, but he has no problems spying on Biden or offering a convenient quid pro quo to Zelensky. Time and again he acts like a petulant prepubescent with not a scintilla of conscience. Zelensky very likely was told, ‘play along… or else’.

  2. Keep in mind, boys and girls, DEFENDING this impeachment pit and pendulum will cost taxpayers BILLIONS!

    This is the BEST billable hour juggernaut the lawyers can find to “legitimately” fleece the tax payers.

    Who, pray tell, does John and Jane Q. Public think will PAY for all those lawyers, doing lawyering things . . . on a president that has done the best for all humankind. I can see that now. WHY IMPEACH?!?

    Oh, right . . . the Jurisprudence Goose that laid the golden egg is about to HATCH! Three cheers for all the NYC law firms,. DC firms, firms that have been choking their own gooses for so long, they really need to finish this one off . . . feathering their nests. They are drooling over this impeachment pie, and Democratic law firms are just pulling up their legal briefs . . . for the boxer rebellion. Either way . . . CHA CHING says tippity top of the clicky billable hour clock — both sides of that aisle.

    What? The dead carcass of the political system in the U.S. isn’t about to be carved up to the highest law firm bidder? They WANT their slice of the impeachment pie.

    Of course, YOUR district won’t see that new school being built. But, thank goodness the law firm of “Dewey Cheatem & How” will be able to continue sending their little precious’ preciousness to private school . . . and THAT costs money, along with creature of habit . . . habits.

    “The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.” ~ Will Rogers

  3. “Impeachment two” is a non-starter. Even if the NYS attorney general got a hold of Trump’s tax returns for the time frame before he was elected, he can’t be impeached for that. Impeachment can only be for high crimes and misdemeanors committed in office. Republicans hold 53 seats in the senate. For a two thirds requirement on impeachment conviction vote, 20 republicans would have to vote to convict. Do you really see that happening, given all the partisan wrangling over this in the House?

    • Thanks Edward, you are right. I should have said he could be charged and tried as the Appeals court said there was no immunity for a US president for criminal acts just because he was president, meaning a reasonable man would resign. If his tax returns are death on political death on a stick, questions will be asked as to why he was not charged earlier. Were people paid off to look the other way?

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