Trump Town Hall Shows His Second-Term Plan: Shattering Even More Norms

In little over an hour, Donald J. Trump suggested the United States should default on its debts for the first time in history, injected doubt over the country’s commitment to defending Ukraine from Russia’s invasion, dangled pardons for most of the Capitol rioters convicted of crimes, and refused to say he would abide by the results of the next presidential election.

The second-term vision Mr. Trump sketched out at a CNN town-hall event on Wednesday would represent a sharp departure from core American values that have been at the bedrock of the nation for decades: its creditworthiness, its credibility with international allies and its adherence to the rule of law at home.

Mr. Trump’s provocations were hardly shocking. His time in office was often defined by a the-rules-don’t-apply-to-me approach to governance and a lack of interest in upholding the post-World War II national security order, and at 76 he is not bound to change much.

But his performance nonetheless signaled an…

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This article was written by Shane Goldmacher, Jonathan Swan, Maggie Haberman and Stephanie Lai and originally published on