“If you look at his positions, he is a big isolationist,” said Richard Painter, who served as the chief White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush.
“He is very much in favor of the military-industrial complex, and he has a lot of disdain for free trade.”
The president also has a reputation for being tough on trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Painter, now a law professor at the University of Minnesota, said he doubts the Trump administration has any plans to renegotiate the pact, but he is skeptical Trump will do it.
“It seems like he would rather do something than not do something,” Painter said.
“We’ve seen him flip a coin, and I’m not sure that’s the way he’d go about it.”
Painter added that the president has been “incredibly inconsistent” in his approach to international issues.
“This is not a normal administration,” Painter added.
“I don’t know what his actual policy position is.
It’s not something I can go into a room and say, ‘Well, if we did that, this would be the policy.'” “
If I was president, I would just be very careful about what I do.
It’s not something I can go into a room and say, ‘Well, if we did that, this would be the policy.'”
Painter said Trump has been using the “America First” theme to “bully the little guy” by attacking countries like Mexico and China.
“That’s not the Trump I know,” Painter continued.
“The Trump I have seen is the one that doesn’t take responsibility for himself.
That’s the Donald Trump that we’ve all seen, and that’s what’s been troubling me the most.”
The ethics adviser also said Trump’s recent threats against South Korea and Japan could be construed as a threat to national security.
“What he’s really saying is that the United States will defend itself,” Painter told ABC News.
“So if he thinks that he can threaten Japan and South Korea, and say they’re going to defend themselves, then that’s going to be a very dangerous thing to do.”