In an extensive new interview for The Global Politico, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice remained a circumspect diplomat while discussing the presidency of Donald Trump, who recently received her in the Oval Office to talk China policy. She repeatedly said it’s “early days” when it comes to Trump’s presidency, noting encouraging signs of foreign policy flip-flops such as Trump’s missile strike in Syria to retaliate for an Assad regime chemical weapons attack on civilians.
“These are early days for this administration and it is a pretty steep learning curve for a president who has never been in government before, never has carried those responsibilities of the presidency.”
When asked about President Trump’s foreign policy, Rice said,
“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,” she said. “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,”
On the day before the interview, the conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer has promoted Rice as his candidate to be the new FBI director, touting her background as a Russia specialist who could oversee the investigation of the 2016 election hacking independently and credibly. However, Rice dismissed this possibility.
“Anything I can do from California, I’m prepared to do. I’m a very happy professor,” she said.
She was asked whether she thinks the Republican Party is no longer the same party, at least on foreign policy, that it was when she was secretary and Bush was president, and the former Secretary of State answered:
“No,” she responds, “I don’t think the Republican Party is going to walk away from this and, ultimately, I don’t think the president of the United States is going to walk away from it.”
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