‘I Find That Hard To Believe’: Martha MacCallum Presses Kirby On Pelosi’s Reported Trip To Taiwan

[Screenshot/Fox News]

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Fox News host Martha MacCallum pressed National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby on Monday over threats surrounding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Asia.

MacCallum asked Kirby if the White House attempted to discourage Pelosi from her plans to visit Taiwan amid the ongoing threats of possible military action from China. Kirby said that they gave Pelosi information and resources in order to ensure that she travels to Asia “safely and securely.”

“But it’s hard to say that things haven’t changed, John,” MacCallum said. “When you look at what’s going on, Taiwan is preparing for war in their words, and China is saying ‘look, regardless of what happened 25 years ago when Newt Gingrich went, we see things as different now.’ What they have taken umbrage with is the perspective by the Pentagon and others who have said ‘look, this is our pacing challenge, we see China as the largest aggressor that we need to deal with in the world.’ They don’t like that language.”

Kirby said nothing has changed in American policy, but that China has become more aggressive in the region. He said there is no threat to China by Pelosi visiting Taiwan.


The Fox News host then asked Kirby if President Joe Biden’s previous remark that the military did not think it was a “good idea” for Pelosi to go escalated the tensions between China and the U.S. (RELATED: REPORT: Pelosi Is Heading To Taiwan Despite Looming Threats Of War)

“Was that a mistake as General Jack Keane called it this morning?” MacCallum asked.

“No, with all respect to General Keane who I greatly admire, I would disagree with that,” Kirby said. “He was simply answering a question about the kind of context and information that the National Security team was given, Speaker Pelosi. Again, the tensions of late have really been caused on the Chinese side. What Speaker Pelosi is doing is very consistent with what members of Congress have in the past and have every right to do going forward, and that is to visit Taiwan.”

MacCallum asked why the administration has not taken the firm stance with China that Pelosi has the right to travel to Taiwan. Kirby said he did take that stance during press briefing, affirming the House speaker’s right to set foot in Taiwan.

“Why doesn’t the president say ‘of course she will go if she wants to go and she will go un-harassed’?” MacCallum asked.

“We have said that, though,” Kirby said. “I just literally said she will go in a safe and secure way wherever she goes. I’m not getting ahead of her schedule or her announcements, but if she chooses to go to Taiwan or wherever else she’s going on this trip, we’re gonna make sure she can do that safely and securely because that’s our responsibility.”

MacCallum claimed the White House knows if Pelosi is heading to Taiwan yet is hiding their knowledge from the public.

“You’re saying you don’t, at this moment, know? I find that hard to believe that the White House doesn’t absolutely know whether or not she’s going,” she said.

“I didn’t say that,” Kirby replied. “I said I’m not going to speak for Speaker Pelosi’s travel plans. She needs to do that in her own time and in her own way. This is a separate branch of government, coequal, and we respect that institutionally. We’re not gonna get ahead of her.”

The host pointed to the Taliban regaining control of Afghanistan and the lack of military involvement in Ukraine to suggest that China may believe they will receive no pushback from the U.S. if they “harass” Pelosi’s visit or invade Taiwan.

Kirby said he will not “speculate” on future “actions or reactions,” but that it is unnecessary for China to take any military action. He then assured Pelosi will complete her trip safely.

Spokespeople of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have claimed the speaker’s trip violates the “One China” policy, which affirms that the U.S. recognizes the PLA as the “sole legal government in China.”