Donald Trump, After Fits and Starts, Focuses on Foreign Policy
President-elect Donald J. Trump embarked on one of the rituals of the American presidency on Thursday, meeting in New York with the prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, as he continued his fitful adjustment to the protocols of high-level diplomacy.
“I am convinced Mr. Trump is a leader in whom I can have great confidence,” Mr. Abe said after the meeting at Trump Tower. He described the 90-minute encounter as “really cordial.”
The visit with Mr. Abe came after 32 congratulatory phone calls from foreign leaders in the nine days since Mr. Trump won the election. None seem to have adhered to established diplomatic practice, in which the State Department choreographs the sequence of the calls and provides policy guidance and translating services.
On Thursday night, the State Department said it was finally in contact with Mr. Trump’s emissaries. But until now, they had not requested any briefings, nor had the president-elect’s calls — including with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and other adversaries of the United States — been routed through the State Department, as is customary, according to a department official.
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