Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defended several of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy positions in a recent interview with Politico Magazine.
Rice went down the line of many of Trump’s most consequential foreign decisions in the early days of his Presidency, delivering a strong defense of the substance of each.
“I think, for instance, to say to the Chinese, ‘If you don’t deal with the North Koreans, we will.’ There’s nothing wrong with that message,” Rice told Politico. “I think to say to the Syrians, ‘We are not going to sit by and let you gas Syrian babies.’ I think there’s nothing wrong with that message. I think to say to Vladimir Putin, ‘Yes, I want to meet with you but at an appropriate time.’ I see nothing wrong with that message.”
Rice also praised Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for his tough rhetoric during an April visit to Moscow where he accused the country of not telling the truth about a deal it reached with the Assad regime to give up its chemical weapons. “I’m not sure I would have been quite brave enough going into the Kremlin to say that the Russians were either incompetent or were not telling the truth about the chemical weapons agreement with the Syrians, so good for him,” she declared.
Rice however lightly criticized Tillerson for a May 3 speech saying the U.S. should at times belay its values in exchange for favorable relations between countries. “In some circumstances, we should and do condition our policy engagements on people adopting certain actions as to how they treat people. … But that doesn’t mean that’s the case in every situation,” Tillerson said.
Rice simply responded, “I think we’re always better, in the long run, to remember that we are safest, most secure and most prosperous when our values and our interests are inextricably linked.”
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