President Trump signs a presidential proclamation on tariffs last week. (Michael Reynolds/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock )
Opinion writer

Definitive proof President Trump is not any braver than other Republicans when it comes to guns. “President Donald Trump on Monday defended his decision to not include new federal age restrictions in his plan to reduce gun violence at schools, saying they had little political support, amid a cool reception on Capitol Hill for other parts of his proposal.” He has no persuasive power, it seems.

The message is unmistakable. “The list of Russian men and women targeted for assassination after falling afoul of the Kremlin includes quite a few felled by poison. The tactic sends a clear message to those thinking of defection or dissent, says Steve Hall, who up until his retirement in 2015 ran Russia operations for the CIA: ‘We’ll find you.’ . . . . Far and away the most famous example of an assassination by poison is Alexander Litvinenko. The dissident Russian spy was killed in 2006 when he ingested polonium-210, a highly radioactive substance, that had been slipped into his tea.”

Seems rather conclusive. “British Prime Minister Theresa May said it was ‘highly likely’ that Russia was behind the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia with a military-grade nerve agent. Speaking to the U.K. parliament, May explained her country’s evidence against the Kremlin, including the fact that the chemical used in the attack has been produced by Russia before, as well as ‘Russia’s record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations.'” President Trump would no doubt say, “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?”

Adult daycare providers in the White House say a meeting is not a done deal. “[Rex W.] Tillerson says plans for North Korea meeting ‘in the very early stages.’” We hope that means “not even started and will never happen.”

Her inexperience was indisputable during the confirmation hearings. She hasn’t learned much since then, it seems. “White House officials were alarmed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ struggle to answer basic questions about the nation’s schools and failure to defend the administration’s newly proposed school safety measures during a tour of television interviews Sunday and Monday, according to two sources familiar with their reaction. . . . Things worsened as DeVos continued her cable television tour Monday morning. ” Who is recommending these people go out in public?

Unquestionably, Trump couldn’t succeed without enablers. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.): “It is awful what we’ve seen this past year. But the bigger threat is not the vitriolic words and violent actions of the bad people, but the appalling silence and inaction of the good people. Our democracy would be so much more robust—we’d have a Congress that works so much better—if people didn’t treat our democracy like a spectator sport.”

Trump’s lack of foreign policy sophistication is undeniable. “Trump started out in a weak position on North Korea and now is poised to enter talks from an even poorer posture. His lack of specificity about the terms of denuclearization means that his negotiators must enter high-stakes talks without knowing his own parameters for success. And then there’s Pyongyang’s wager that U.S. military options would be frozen so long as both parties remain at the negotiating table — raising the risk that North Korea is, once again, buying itself valuable time through talks to advance its nuclear arsenal.”