The US president’s general assembly speech was met with laughter and the council session he led dissolved into chaos

American diplomats prepare for Donald Trump’s annual trip to UN general assembly the way emergency services get ready for a hurricane. They imagine the worst and then make a plan to deal with it.

Compared to UNGA, the rest of Trump’s existence is carefully controlled – a tight circuit from the White House and the golf course and back again, enlivened by occasional rallies of the faithful. The general assembly is a vast hall full of national leaders, most with very different views but an equal right to speak.

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