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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > October 2017 > When Congress told Trump—you’re fired!

When Congress told Trump—you’re fired!

Capitol Hill has quietly terminated a noisy presidency, where foreign affairs are concerned

Charlottesville was the latest disaster that Washington sages warned could end Donald Trump’s presidency. But for all the heat over the racists wreaking havoc in August, in one crucial and underappreciated respect his presidency had, in effect, ended the week before.

The fateful moment came when Trump signed the sanctions bill against Russia, Iran and North Korea that Congress passed with only five dissenting votes. Although he put his signature to the law, the decision about whether or not to do so was purely symbolic—when there is a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate, any presidential veto can be overridden. So Trump had to choose between getting with the congressional programme, or wielding an ineffective veto and exposing himself as impotent—something such a proud individual was never going to do. Instead, he signed but didn’t disguise his substantive and constitutional objections to the legislation.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s October issue: Andrew Adonis, Steve Richards, Gaby Hinsliff, Rachel Sylvester and Jennifer Williams look at the idea that leadership is the only thing that matters when it comes to elections. Adonis leads the cover package arguing exactly that point and outlining his ratings of the leaders who have competed every election in the UK and the United States since 1944—Richards offers a rebuttal. Hinsliff, Sylvester and Williams profile three potential leaders in waiting—Amber Rudd, Jo Swinson and Angela Rayner. Elsewhere in the issue we map out the potential road the UK might travel down to stay in the European Union and explore the relationship between UN Secretary General António Guterres and Donald Trump as the two prepare to meet at the UN. Also in this issue: Philip Collins on the similarities between Britain’s Brexiteers and the Gaullists of yesteryear, John Bercow explains how parliament could function better and our “View from” comes from Nairobi, where the recent election result has been annulled.
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