By Javad Heirannia

Trump not a normal president with a set ideology: Robert Jervis

September 16, 2017 - 11:44

TEHRAN - Robert Jervis, a professor of international politics at Columbia University, says U.S. President Donald Trump is not a “normal president with a set ideology.

“Trump isn't a normal President with a set ideology and deep connections with the foreign policy world,” Jervis tells the Tehran Times.

Following is the full text of the interview:

Q: What are the major effective decisive forces on Trump among persons and interest groups?

A: He listens to big business but I think not because they have power over him, but because he thinks people who have made a lot of money are smart.  Among his advisors, family and personal connections are paramount.

Q: Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller were referred to as influential persons on Trump’s decisions. Speculation on Trump’s impressionability from Kushner (his son – in law) after the dismissal of Steve Bannon as his ideologist got increased. What are the impressions of such persons like Kushner on Trump’s decisions?

A: No one knows for sure--or at least I don't--but he seems to listen to Kushner even if he doesn't always take his advice.

He also seems to have the idea of a Sunni-Israel coalition against Iran, but hasn't squared this with his plans to destroy ISISQ: Who are the people on the backstage of determining Trump’s foreign policy, especially his policies on the Middle East? What are the main and secondary decision makers in this process?

I don't think there is much backstage--certainly not in the bureaucracy. 

Q: Which are the effective think tanks on Trump’s foreign policy?

A: None--Trump isn't a normal President with a set ideology and deep connections with the foreign policy world.

Q: How much effective are lobbies such as the one by Saudi Arabia on Trump’s foreign policy?

A: I think he thinks SA is important, but not because it has an effective lobby.  Rather because Obama had bad, or at least strained, relations with it, he wants to do something different. He also seems to have the idea of a Sunni-Israel coalition against Iran, but hasn't squared this with his plans to destroy ISIS.

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