'We're America, b*tch': A senior White House official sums up the Trump Doctrine

  • As President Donald Trump attacked America's closest allies while jetting to Singapore for his  summit with one of the world's most brutal dictators, foreign policy experts remain unclear on Trump's approach to world affairs.
  • Those close to the president interpret the Trump Doctrine in several different ways.
  • One top White House official characterized it as, "We're America, Bitch."

As President Donald Trump attacked America's closest allies while jetting to Singapore for his much-anticipated summit with one of the world's most brutal dictators, foreign policy experts remain largely unclear on his approach to world affairs.

But one senior White House official described the president's ideology succinctly. 

"The Trump Doctrine is 'We're America, Bitch,'" the official told Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic's editor in chief, in a story published Monday.

"Obama apologized to everyone for everything. He felt bad about everything," said the official, who Goldberg wrote has "direct access to the president and his thinking."

Trump, by contrast, "doesn't feel like he has to apologize for anything America does," the official said. 

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Trump arrives in Singapore ahead of summit
U.S. President Donald Trump disembarks Air Force One as he arrives in Singapore June 10, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump waves upon his arrival at Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore, before his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, June 10, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Women sing the U.S. national anthem as they wait for the arrival of U.S. President Donald Trump outside the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore June 10, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su
US President Donald Trump waves after Air Force One arrived at Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore on June 10, 2018, ahead of his planned meeting with North Korea's leader. - Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump will meet on June 12 for an unprecedented summit in an attempt to address the last festering legacy of the Cold War, with the US president calling it a 'one time shot' at peace. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump walks down the stairs after Air Force One arrived at Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore on June 10, 2018 ahead of his planned meeting with North Korea's leader. - Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump will meet on June 12 for an unprecedented summit in an attempt to address the last festering legacy of the Cold War, with the US president calling it a 'one time shot' at peace. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of media wait in line at the registration desk of the media center for the DPRK-USA Singapore Summit in Singapore, on Sunday, June 10, 2018. U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will hold their historic Singapore summit at the Capella Hotel on the city-states Sentosa Island on June 12. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images
US President Donald Trump walks off Air Force One upon his arrival at Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore on June 10, 2018, ahead of his planned meeting with North Korea's leader. - Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump will meet on June 12 for an unprecedented summit in an attempt to address the last festering legacy of the Cold War, with the US president calling it a 'one time shot' at peace. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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Another senior staffer seconded that characterization.  

"The president believes that we're America, and people can take it or leave it," the staffer said. 

Goldberg spoke to several of the president's close aides and friends over a period of months in an attempt to better understand Trump's "America First" doctrine, and he found a few varying interpretations.

One senior administration official described the Trump ideology as "No Friends, No Enemies," explaining that the president doesn't believe the US needs to maintain any long-term alliances, and instead should take a more transactional, short-term approach. 

Another top national security official alternately described the Trump Doctrine as "permanent destabilization creates American advantage" — meaning that if the US keeps both its allies and its adversaries off balance, it will set the agenda. 

Yet another friend of Trump's characterized Trump's approach as simply a reversal of President Barack Obama's international legacy. 

"There's the Obama Doctrine, and the 'F--- Obama' Doctrine," he told Goldberg. "We're the 'F--- Obama' Doctrine."

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