Before Donald Trump became president and undermined the world diplomatic order by reversing decades of American foreign policy, the State Department professionals with a perspective on our national goals and a knowledge of international protocol would normally handle U.S. relations with foreign countries.
In the Trump administration, however, diplomacy now often consists of a tweet from the president after having been told by Fox & Friends what he should think about the pressing foreign crisis of the day.
President Trump took a short break from his non-stop tweeting of denials of collusion and of attacks on Democrats still seeking to see the full Special Counsel’s report — that is reported by leakers on Robert Mueller’s team to be much more critical of the president than his Attorney General’s Summary would indicate — to weigh in on the kidnappers of a recently freed American tourist and her guide at a national park in Uganda.
Uganda must find the kidnappers of the American Tourist and guide before people will feel safe in going there. Bring them to justice openly and quickly!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2019
Kim Endicott and her Ugandan driver were both safely returned by their kidnappers this weekend after being abducted in Queen Elizabeth National Park and sequestered across the nearby Congolese border with a demand of half a million dollars in ransom for their release.
While Ugandan police deny that a ransom had been paid, the organizers of the tour company through which Endicott had hired her driver insisted that the kidnappers were paid to obtain their release, according to an account in The Washington Post.
“Otherwise she wouldn’t be back,” said the representative from Wild Frontiers Uganda Safaris,
If President Trump had bothered checking the Twitter feed of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, he could have saved himself the trouble of sending his own tweet about the incident, since Museveni had already addressed Trump’s concerns hours earlier.
We shall deal with these isolated pockets of criminals. However, I want to reassure the country and our tourists that Uganda is safe and we shall continue to improve the security in our parks. Come and enjoy the Pearl of Africa.
— Yoweri K Museveni (@KagutaMuseveni) April 8, 2019
Trump’s attempt at Twitter diplomacy was an appealing target for his critics who mocked the president’s penchant for live-tweeting Fox News like a senile old man sitting on his living room couch and for his hypocrisy in advising tourists to avoid the African nation while failing to make the same warning towards other, equally dangerous but more personally profitable, nations.
By this brand of so-called logic NO ONE should ever go to Saudi Arabia again. Why don't you warn people how evil & lawless the Saudis are?
Or is that somehow different because you're using them to line your greedy pockets? pic.twitter.com/ZaMmlBgqFD
— Khashoggi’s Ghost (@UROCKlive1) April 8, 2019
I’m sure they’re listening to you after you called African nations shithole countries and your sons poached animals on the continent. You are demented. Resign. pic.twitter.com/oSqF201162
— Lesley Abravanel (@lesleyabravanel) April 8, 2019
Did he get this daily briefing from Fox news?
— ShoNuff3000 (@evilchrisj) April 8, 2019
Chances that Trump thinks Uganda is one of the three Mexican countries? https://t.co/NX1cX2Axhf
— *you're (@RKJ65) April 8, 2019
Trump’s Brain: if I direct everyone’s attention to Uganda they’ll forget about Saudi Arabia and Khashoggi.
— bobbystone (@bobbystonemusic) April 8, 2019
You're the last person to talk about justice.
— Name isn't blank (@ohmyword1) April 8, 2019
The best reply, however, was the one that turned Trump’s own language against him by pointing out the absurdity of his comments given his own track record as the abductor of thousands of refugee immigrant children.
The United States must find the kidnappers of hundreds of legal asylum seekers before people will feel safe going there! Bring them to justice openly and quickly!
— ghost dog. (@JeetoCheesus) April 8, 2019
While at least one of those American kidnappers should be fairly easy to find since he has a predictable pattern of visiting a Trump-owned golf course every weekend, the release of former Homeland Security Department Secretary Kristjen Nielsen yesterday from the confines of the office where she planned the illegal abductions and family separations makes her whereabouts more difficult to pin down.
No one in America should feel safe until those two and their accomplices — we’re looking at you, Stephen Miller —are safely locked away for good.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.