Tags: Donald Trump | Trump Administration | eric swalwell | fortunate | donald trump | surrounded | general

Swalwell: 'Fortunate' Trump Is Surrounded by Generals, Experts

CNN's "New Day"/Twitter

By    |   Friday, 11 Aug 2017 11:58 AM

It's fortunate that President Donald Trump is surrounded by experienced foreign policy hands and former generals who know that using military strikes against North Korea is not necessarily a good option, Rep. Eric Swalwell said he's telling his worried constituents.

"We just have to hope that they are asserting themselves for the sake of our future and the sake of our country," the California Democrat told CNN's "New Day" program Friday.

Swalwell said he's getting many questions from his constituents over the growing tensions between the United States and North Korea following the news that leader Kim Jong Un's regime had developed miniaturized nuclear weapons that can fit atop an intercontinental ballistic missile, and after Kim threatened missile strikes on Guam, a U.S. territory.

Trump on Friday tweeted that "military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded" should North Korea act "unwisely," and Swalwell said such tweets, and Trump's other actions are not giving him much comfort.

"I have no comfort in the way that the president is conducting foreign and military policy," he said. "Mind you he's doing this from a golf club in New Jersey. He would be well served to go back to the White House to assemble his team to talk to our allies. We're going to need a lot of allies if we're going to engage in a military conduct with North Korea and also continue to engage with China."

Further, Swalwell said, Trump's policy is "very inconsistent" from the foreign policy success that occurred when the United Nations Security Council voted, by a 15-0 ballot, to enact tougher sanctions.

"That's what diplomacy first looks like," he said. "Now to radically deviate from that, I think, puts us at a grave risk of a conflict with North Korea."

Trump, said Swalwell, should be talking to his generals and foreign policy experts, and he needs to fill the ambassadorship to South Korea, which remains vacant.

The president also needs to talk to U.S. allies, the lawmaker continued.

"Missing right now is that scene of American leadership where he'd be sitting with our allies and telling North Korea that we're not going to tolerate their continued escalation as far as developing nuclear capabilities," said Swalwell. "But he's not doing any of that. He's isolated at a golf club in New Jersey and just sending out barstool threats."

Most Americans, both Republicans and Democrats, are fearing that standing up to North Korea will be a "U.S. go-it-alone" strategy, Swalwell said, and in the past, that has "recklessly led to chaos."

Swalwell also said he has doubts that Trump is actively trying to engage China on the issue, but instead is "tweeting and needling" the Asian superpower.

"China, as we know is their primary source of food and fuel into North Korea," said Swalwell. "They have a lot of leverage over North Korea if they want to use it."

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It's fortunate that President Donald Trump is surrounded by experienced foreign policy hands and former generals who know that using military strikes against North Korea is not necessarily a good option, Rep. Eric Swalwell said he's telling his worried constituents.
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Friday, 11 Aug 2017 11:58 AM
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