Lawmakers say Trump’s words matter — and hurt the country’s standing abroad – The Washington Post

A growing roster of Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill say they believe President Trump’s pugnacious rhetoric and unpredictable behavior threaten to diminish the United States’ standing around the world, do real damage to fragile diplomatic ­relationships and even weaken global stability.

Lawmakers are speaking in increasingly urgent tones about Trump’s unusual foreign policy statements and his tendency to pick fights with domestic and international figures. They say it has taken a toll on the way key allies, foes and other foreign observers view the United States. Even members of Trump’s own party are having difficulties vouching for him.

“A country’s more than one ­person,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), when asked whether he is concerned that the president’s words have harmed the U.S. ­image. The senator, who dined Wednesday with Trump but has also criticized the president’s ­posture toward Russia, added: “There’s more than one voice in America.”

In a striking speech to international defense officials gathered Friday in Germany, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) suggested that the survival of the Western world is at risk from some of the ideas Trump has embraced.

“The next panel asks us to consider whether the West will survive. In recent years, this question would invite accusations of hyperbole and alarmism. Not this year,” McCain said, according to prepared remarks delivered Friday at the Munich Security Conference. “If ever there were a time to treat this question with a deadly seriousness, it is now.”



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