13:47 GMT +318 August 2018
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    U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018

    Trump Wants to Carve His Own Path But There are Forces Stopping Him – Professor

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    Donald Trump has threatened to become Vladimir Putin's worst enemy unless they manage to get along. Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that Trump had requested that Putin be invited to Washington this autumn. Radio Sputnik spoke with David Schultz, a political science professor at Hamline University.

    Sputnik: What is his intent here? Why didn't even the US director of National Intelligence know about this?

    David Schultz: Generally most presidents, whether it’s the United States or other countries, always talk about the United States. They don’t sort of go out on their own and make statements … unless it’s been fully vetted or worked through by the foreign policy establishment and bureaucracy. One of the characteristics of Donald Trump and his presidency has been to sort of act alone, act without consulting his foreign policy people.

    I think this is another example here of whether the meeting is a good or bad idea it’s a different story entirely, but the question is should this have been something that his foreign policy establishment knew about and could have been prepared for and the answer is yes. But the simple answer is that he seems to be acting without consulting his foreign policy people.

    READ MORE: Trump, Americans and Putin Have a Common Problem: The US Deep State

    Sputnik: It seems like Trump wants to do or has his own agenda that he would like to put forward as far as Putin is concerned and Russia, on the other hand it feels like he is being, the pressure on him and the suspicions that he has got something going on with Putin, that either Putin has something on him or helped him through collusion to get elected or even just the fact that, you know, admitting that what the intelligence agencies in the US are saying that there was Russian meddling, that’s actually saying that Trump was not elected fairly and freely. So he is really in this difficult situation, he can’t do what he wants to do. That’s one of the reasons why we hear so many contradictory statements. He says something then he gets in trouble, then he says something to sort of paste that over.

    David Schultz: Presidents of the United States really face significant constitutional and political limitations. Many people want to say that that’s the most powerful person in the US and the world, but really being president has enormous constraints. 

    Trump I think is only sort of safe under the fact that unlike the CEO of Trump Enterprises where he could be whatever he wants, he really can’t do that as president of the United States and I think that’s why I describe it as almost Trump versus the United States, or Trump versus the foreign policy establishments. 

    He wants to carve his own path and there are so many forces that prevent him from doing that, that whenever he goes off on his own, it’s like he is almost pulled back or pushed back or confined in terms of what he can do. That’s what we saw last week yet again, Trump going off on his own and then pulled back by the political and legal forces that really constrain presidents. 

    READ MORE: Top US Senate Democrat Says Trump Should Avoid New Meeting With Putin

    The views and opinions of David Schultz are those of the political analyst and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    Tags:
    constraints, bureaucracy, policy, interview, Donald Trump
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