Chaos at home, fear abroad: Trump unleashed puts western world on edge

The Guardian | : While a government shutdown and a key resignation grabbed headlines, diplomats were stunned by US actions over Yemen

The US stumbled into the holiday season with a sense of unravelling, as a large chunk of the federal government ground to a halt, the stock market crashed and the last independently minded, globally respected, major figure left in the administration announced he could no longer work with the president.

The defense secretary, James Mattis, handed in his resignation on Thursday, over Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to pull US troops out of Syria. On Saturday another senior official joined the White House exodus. Brett McGurk, the special envoy for the global coalition to defeat Isis and the US official closest to America’s Kurdish allies in the region, was reported to have handed in his resignation on Friday.

That night, senators flew back to Washington from as far away as Hawaii for emergency talks aimed at finding a compromise on Trump’s demand for nearly $6bn for a wall on the southern border, a campaign promise which has become an obsession. The president tweeted out an illustration of a very pointy, very high metal fence which he called “our Steel Slat Barrier which is totally effective while at the same time beautiful!”

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