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‘Trump unbound’ President will be EVEN TOUGHER after firing Sessions, warn experts | World | News

US President Donald Trump is likely to adopt an even tougher approach after the midterm elections, and may even follow up his firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions by getting rid of Defence Secretary James Mattis, experts have predicted.

But they have also said the loss of the House of Representatives to the Democrats represents a body-blow to the brash billionaire which “cut him down to size”.

The panel of journalists and policy analysts considered the implications of the midterm results, which also saw Mr Trump’s Republicans retain control of the Senate with an increased majority, at an event at Chatham House yesterday.

Steven Erlanger, the New York Time’s chief diplomatic correspondent for Europe, said: “It really is a restraint on Trump. 

“If you remember the Obama administration Obama basically got everything done in the first two years when the Democrats had control of both houses."

By way of example, he said Mr Obama had opted not to put the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) deal aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons before Congress – because he "could not win so there was no point doing it”.

Referring to the ongoing probe by former FBI director Robert Mueller into allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential election, and claims of collusion with the Trump campaign, he said: “One of the questions I have is how reckless the Democrats will want to be in terms of trying to tie the Trump administration up in investigations and supinas and even a possible impeachment. 

“We will see what Mueller comes up with and then all this has to play out and of course how Trump responds.

“My sense of Trump is that he is not going to reach for a compromise, that is kind of not how the man lives, he lives on division and partisanship and my guess is we will have more of a Trump unbound I’m afraid, when he can do these things because he has his base to keep together if he wants to win again.”

‘Trump unbound’ President will be EVEN TOUGHER after firing Sessions, warn experts | World | News

Jeff Sessions has now left the Trump administration – will James Mattis be next? (Image: GETTY)

My guess is we will have more of a Trump unbound I’m afraid

Steven Erlanger

“My sense of Trump is that he is not going to reach for a compromise, that is kind of not how the man lives, he lives on division and partisanship and my guess is we will have more of a Trump unbound I’m afraid, when he can do these things because he has his base to keep together if he wants to win again.”

Mr Erlanger, who was speaking before the news of Mr Sessions’ forced resignation and replacement by deputy Matthew Whitaker broke, said Republican control of the Senate also gave the President a free hand when it came to political appointments.

He explained: “The Senate is the one that confirms judges and cabinet members.

“Basically Trump will have no trouble if he wants to fire James Mattis or Jeff Sessions and getting whoever he wants through the Senate now.”


‘Trump unbound’ President will be EVEN TOUGHER after firing Sessions, warn experts | World | News

Donald Trump will adopt an even tougher stance after the midterms, experts predict (Image: GETTY)

Professor Peter Trubowitz, Director of the US Centre at the London School of Economics, warned: “Polarisation is going to get worse not better.

“Going to be a lot of tweeting over the next few days.

“This was big, what happened yesterday. A check was put in place and he was cut down to size.

“This was a pretty big wave actually. Right now it is looking like the Democrats won the popular vote by eight percent.

‘Trump unbound’ President will be EVEN TOUGHER after firing Sessions, warn experts | World | News

The New York Times's Steven Erlanger at Chatham House (Image: Chatham House)

“The rubber stamp is done with for now.”

In terms of the Mueller inquiry, Mr Trubowitz predicted the House of Representatives, likely to be led by Nancy Pelosi as speaker, would likely use supinas as a way of “keeping Trump on his back foot”.

Nevertheless, he added: “He is going to see he has more discretion on foreign policy so I would expect him to double down on trade and the China issue.

“I would expect him to see him toughen the position on Iran and also the Mexican border.

“So I would say if you don’t already have your seatbelt down, buckle up.”

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