McMaster, Cohn detail 'America First' foreign policy

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Story highlights

  • McMaster and Cohn hailed Trump for demonstrating "the resurgence of American leadership"
  • They wrote that America "cannot be a passive member of international organizations"

Washington (CNN)Two of President Donald Trump's top aides sought to articulate the administration's "America First" foreign policy in a New York Times op-ed published Thursday, the day Trump landed in France on his second major international trip this month.

H.R. McMaster, Trump's national security adviser, and Gary Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council, praised Trump for his performance at the G20 summit earlier this month in the op-ed, titled, "The Trump Vision for America Abroad."
They wrote that "central to President Trump's approach is that the United States will seek areas of agreement and cooperation while still protecting American interests."
    McMaster and Cohn hailed Trump for demonstrating "the resurgence of American leadership" and expressed support for "building coalitions to get the best possible outcomes for American and our allies." They wrote that America "cannot be a passive member of international organizations" -- an apparent response to critics who opposed Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement and have questioned his commitment to NATO.
    Still, McMaster and Cohn seemed to acknowledge new disagreements that have emerged between the US and traditional allies in the early months of the Trump administration, on trade and immigration, in particular. They noted language in the G20 communique that reflected those Trump administration priorities.
    The White House aides wrote that "perhaps most important, President Trump affirmed on this trip that America first is grounded in American values -- values that not only strengthen America but also drive progress throughout the world."
    "America First is rooted in confidence that our values are worth defending and promoting. This is a time of great challenge for our friends and allies around the globe -- but it is also a moment of extraordinary opportunity. The American delegation returned from the trip with tremendous optimism about the future and what the United States, our allies, and our partners can achieve together," they wrote.