Trump appoints yet another hard-liner and loyalist to a foreign policy-related position:
On Tuesday, President-elect Donald Trump named Jason D. Greenblatt his special representative for international negotiations, creating a new White House role for his right-hand man at Trump Tower.
Greenblatt’s name first emerged Dec. 23 as frontrunner for the new position. But it’s still unclear what exactly he will do. A statement released by Trump’s team said Greenblatt would assist “on international negotiations of all types, and trade deals around the world.”
Greenblatt is one of Trump’s main advisers on Israel, and he worked with David Friedman (Trump’s nominee to be ambassador to Israel) in drafting the party platform plank that denied the existence of the occupation and omitted any reference to a two-state solution. In keeping with most of Trump’s other appointees, he appears to have no relevant experience for the position he will fill, but he is reliably hard-line on the issues that he advises Trump on.
This is just the latest hard-liner that Trump has selected for a role in his administration, and it is part of a pattern of choosing advocates of more aggressive policies in their respective areas of interest. We have already seen several top national security positions have gone to strident Iran hawks with Flynn’s appointment and the nominations of Mattis and Pompeo. Earlier this month, we saw the nomination of the extremely pro-settler Friedman as ambassador to Israel. Last week, Trump named noted China hawk Peter Navarro to head the newly-formed National Trade Council, which fits with Trump’s other recent efforts to antagonize China. This is the profile of an administration that is looking to pick a lot of fights.