Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Nixon's Think Tank to Host Donald Trump

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump continues to embrace think tank land.  Having scooped up a number of advisors from think tanks, he is now being hosted by a Washington, DC think to give a major foreign policy speech.

Here is more from The New York Times:
Donald J. Trump will deliver his first foreign policy address at the National Press Club in Washington next week, his campaign said, at an event hosted by an organization founded by President Richard M. Nixon.
The speech, planned for lunchtime on Wednesday, will be Mr. Trump’s first major policy address since a national security speech last fall.
The speech will be hosted by the Center for the National Interest, formerly known as the Nixon Center, and the magazine it publishes, The National Interest, according to a news release provided by the Trump campaign.
The group, which left the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in 2011 to become a nonprofit, says on its website that it was founded by the former president to be a voice to promote “strategic realism in U.S. foreign policy.” Its associates include Henry A. Kissinger, the secretary of state under Nixon, as well as Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama and a senior adviser to Mr. Trump. Roger Stone, a sometime adviser of Mr. Trump, is a former Nixon aide.

Here is what Politico is reporting about the speech.  Here is what Brookings Institution scholar Thomas Wright is saying about the speech.

Dimitri Simes, the President of the Center for the National Interest (CNI) and a former aide to Richard Nixon, was reportedly on Sen. Rand Paul's (R-KY) foreign policy advisory team in 2014.

This Free Beacon article says that for years, Simes and CNI "have provided a sympathetic platform for the Russian government in the heart of the DC policy establishment."

Among those on the Board of Directors of CNI include Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), Leslie Gelb (President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations), former Gov. Jon Huntsman, Amb. Zalmay Khalilzad, Admiral Michael Mullen, Grover Norquist, Brent Scowcroft, Jeffrey Bewkes (Chairman/CEO of Time Warner), billionaire Peter Peterson, and Julie Nixon Eisenhower (daughter of Richard Nixon).

Henry Kissinger is the Honorary Chairman of CNI, and Maurice Greenberg is Chairman Emeritus of CNI.

Here is a previous Think Tank Watch post on think tanks possibly controlling a Trump presidency.  Here is a previous post on how Donald Trump sees think tanks.  And here is a previous post about how Donald Trump has an affinity toward Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) president Richard Haass.  Here is a previous Think Tank Watch post showing that Trump has been consulting with think tanks for quite awhile now.

Update: Foreign Policy has a new parody piece entitled "Breaking: Richard Nixon Does Not Endorse Donald Trump."  The author, who pretends to be Richard Nixon, says, among other things, that he objected to the Nixon Center name change to Center for the National Interest, and said that the new name is "the sort of pointy-headed doublespeak that passes as nuance in the campus tearooms."

Also, John Bolton of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) said that Trump's foreign policy analysis was right on target.  Matt Mayer of AEI said that the devil is in the details in Trump's foreign policy speech.  Michael Auslin of AEI said that Trump "is still at sea" in Asia.  And here is Derek Scissors of AEI on Trump's speech and trade.