WASHINGTON (Circa) — House Republicans praised President Donald Trump’s performance at the United Nations General Assembly this week as a fulfillment of his “America First” campaign rhetoric, despite the laughs from other leaders that appeared to greet his boast of historic accomplishments.
“He is making progress and I wish people around the world and those responsible positions there in the U.N. assembly would have enough respect for America, if not for President Trump, not to heckle him,” said Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala.
Some in the audience chuckled Tuesday after Trump claimed during his address to the General Assembly, "My administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country."
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley claimed Wednesday that the laughter was not disrespectful but just a response to “how honest he is.”
“It’s not diplomatic and they find it funny... When he goes and he is very truthful, they kind of were taken back by it,” she said on “Fox & Friends.”
The speech was better received by GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, was impressed by the president’s embrace of American sovereignty.
“I appreciated the president’s direct, straightforward approach in telling the world he’s going to be looking out for Americans first for a change,” he said.
Babin argued much of the criticism the president has faced from “the liberal left and the mainstream media” for his approach to foreign policy has been unfair, particularly with regard to North Korea.
“They criticized him for being a warmonger when he gave a warning to Kim Jong Un from North Korea,” he said. “Yet instead of World War III, just a few months later he’s sitting at the negotiating table.”
President Trump said Wednesday he expected an announcement soon on a second summit with Kim, following their meeting in Singapore in June. Although the president declared an end to North Korea’s nuclear threat at the time, critics have questioned whether Kim has truly demonstrated a commitment to dismantling his nuclear program.
Still, Byrne maintained Trump has not received sufficient credit for reducing tensions on the Korean peninsula. He urged foreign leaders to recognize the hard choices the U.S. has to make to address threats from Russia, China, and Iran as well.
“We’ve made progress with North Korea,” he said. “We need to make progress with the other three. The rest of the world needs to be standing together against these threats to all of us.”
Babin also credited Trump for stressing the importance of other countries paying their fair share of NATO defense costs.
“We got a new cop on the block with President Trump,” Babin said.