This week's attack at a Berlin Christmas market shows the importance of extreme vetting of refugees President-elect Donald Trump is seeking, his newly named Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway said Thursday.
"Extreme vetting contemplates getting tougher with these countries that are known to train and harbor and, indeed, export terrorists," Conway told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program.
"I mean, this is not complicated in terms of there are countries that are known to do that. We know that ISIS has also promised/threatened to, quote, 'Blend in with refugees, Syrian and otherwise.' We know that Germany now is added to the list with France and Italy and Belgium and of course the United States of America, falling victim to these random attacks that are inspired by ISIS."
While Trump's Democratic rival Hillary Clinton referred to ISIS as "our determined enemies" in her convention speech, the president-elect is "willing to call them what they are, to defeat them," Conway said.
"Also, if you look at his plan, which is still on the website … he also calls for a much more robust collaboration with many of our allies and even with countries that we don't work with that closely on a number of policy issues, to come together and have a strength in numbers approach to defeating radical Islamic terrorism," Conway said.
ISIS, she continued, is fairly new and was born through the vacuum created when the United States left Iraq, and has grown stronger.
"It is not retreating; it is not abating," said Conway. "Ask Germany. I just think that having a President of the United States and a commander-in-chief who's willing to put this as a top priority and respond to the growing number of Americans who say they feel less safe over the last four to eight years is a great start."
Now that Conway will be serving in the West Wing, she believes the administration will need to "focus and put our heads down" while ignoring critics.
"So many of his policies are meant to help everybody," she continued. "If you look at the child care and elder care tax credits that he and his daughter, Ivanka Trump, have talked about, if you look at his plan to create 25 million jobs over 10 years and unleash energy investments, that's meant to help everyone. That stimulates the economy and projects economic growth that is a rising tide that lifts all boats."
Conway said Trump will probably want her top priority to continue as it has been, which has been to be a "more discreet adviser and somebody who helps him to effectively, supports him in his effective connecting and communicating with America. I think nobody is the master of brilliant communicator and connector that he is. That's how he won this campaign, that's how he became president. So if I can support that, I will."
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