Comments from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi that President Donald Trump is “more loyal” to Russian President Vladimir Putin than he is to the United States’ NATO allies are “disgraceful,” presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway said Thursday.
“They are always making everything too personal and political,” Conway told Fox News’ “Fox and Friends.”
“They are doing it to Judge [Brett] Kavanaugh and President Trump.”
She pointed out that Trump said during a Thursday morning press conference that he regards Putin as a competitor.
“If we can find a commonality of purpose on the big issues of the day, then, of course, he is going to sit down,’ Conway said of Trump. “The president says we want peace around the globe, he is saying that if that includes Russia to push back on things like ISIS, which of course is, a shadow of itself under President Trump’s leadership, then we will do it.”
In their joint statement following Trump’s comments during a breakfast meeting Thursday, Pelosi, D-Calif., and Schumer, D-N.Y. said that “President Trump’s brazen insults and denigration of one of America’s most steadfast allies, Germany, is an embarrassment. His behavior this morning is another profoundly disturbing signal that the President is more loyal to President Putin than to our NATO allies.”
Conway said the president has pushed back on Russia, including with sanctions and with expulsions of Russians from the United States.
“Obviously [he was] pushing back not once but twice on [Syrian leader Bashar al] Assad when he was gassing his own people in Syria,” she added.
The administration does not recognize the annexation of Crimea, said Conway, and she wonders why Democrats, or peace-loving people across the country would not “welcome an opportunity” to pursue peace, “if not prosperity,” that we can work together.
Conway Thursday also applauded the president’s actions when dealing with NATO, including his announcement that the nations agreed to pay more quickly to get their contributions to the two percent level agreed upon in 2010 in a shorter number of years.
However, French President Macron has denied Trump’s claims that the NATO powers agreed to increase defense spending beyond that margin.
“The president made clear that everybody has to go out and some have to talk to their own legislatures or whatever their system of government is,” said Conway. “France pays about, according to my statistics 1.8 percent, close to 2 percent.”
Trump is making it clear that he wants people to pay their fair share, and “everybody from the president of Romania to the secretary of NATO” praised Trump for pressing his case.
“He made it very clear that he recognizes that other countries don’t have the same money, frankly, don’t have the same funds, Said Conway. “Some don’t have weaponry. But, I think that the president would agree with many people who say that we don’t necessarily set what the appropriate amounts are. Our enemies do.”
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