For a president-elect who touts ‘America first,’ Russian hacking poses a problem

Presidents often are tested early, by unexpected crises or provocations by foreign adversaries. President-elect Donald Trump’s first test has come even before he is sworn in, and so far, he has responded with denial, equivocation and deflection.

The test has come over Russia’s brazen intrusion into the U.S. election process through its hacking of the servers at the Democratic National Committee and the email account of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager. …

Throughout the campaign, Trump described his philosophy as one of “America first.” He drew an enthusiastic response from his supporters for signaling that he would refocus U.S. foreign policy, away from the course pursued for the past eight years by President Obama and seemingly abandoning a broader consensus that has guided presidents of both parties for decades.

But if standing up to Russian attempts to interfere with American democracy isn’t a foundational principle of an “America first” policy, what is? Trump’s response has suggested a different focus and different philosophy, one that might be described as “Trump first,” rather than “America first.” His instincts appear to be aimed at shielding himself. CONT.

Dan Balz, Washington Post