Tags: John Bolton | Trump | Taiwan Call | Big Deal

John Bolton: Trump's Taiwan Call Not a 'Big Deal'

Image: John Bolton: Trump's Taiwan Call Not a 'Big Deal'

(AP)

By    |   Monday, 05 Dec 2016 02:41 PM

Former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, one of several people being considered for President-elect Donald Trump's Secretary of State nomination, said Monday he didn't have anything to do with Trump's decision to accept a congratulatory phone call from Taiwan's president, but he is not worried about the call's implications.

"I can safely say I had nothing to do with the decision to make that call, although I support it," said Bolton on Fox News' "Outnumbered," where he was the all-female show's male guest.

"I have written about the relationship between Taiwan and China over 20 years. It's something I followed very carefully. I'm convinced they made the decision to accept the call or to schedule the call from Taiwanese president very ably about what the implications were."

Officially, there have been no formal diplomatic relations between the United States and Taiwan since 1979, when Beijing claimed Taiwan and its democratically run government is part of China. The policy is called the "One China" plan.

But, he continued, he doesn't think the call "as big of a deal as some people think," even though he does think that when Trump took the call from Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, it sent a signal.

"We'll see other indications that Donald Trump will not follow the policies of the past eight years or maybe longer," said Bolton. "That is why we have elections."

Meanwhile, Bolton was careful when speaking about himself or others being considered for the State post, but called the transition period heading into a presidency a "very delicate moment."

"It is very important time in the political life of the country," said Bolton. "A lot rides on having a successful transition.

"For the incoming president, the most important thing is picking the right team in the Cabinet, in the key White House staff positions and others because these are the decisions that are going to affect the first months and years of his term in office."

He does believe Trump should take as much time as he needs to pick his Cabinet, and said the new president-elect is either "equal to or ahead" of where his predecessors had been.

It's important to keep in mind, though, that more than any other policy area, "foreign policy belongs to the president, as he'll have to make all key decisions on national security," so the relationship between him and his secretary of State will be critical.

Meanwhile, Bolton said, the State Department must become a more effective advocate for America's interests, as "failure to do that will continue to cost us down the road."

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Former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, one of several people being considered for President-elect Donald Trump's Secretary of State nomination, said Monday he didn't have anything to do with Trump's decision to accept a congratulatory phone call from Taiwan's president...
John Bolton, Trump, Taiwan Call, Big Deal
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Monday, 05 Dec 2016 02:41 PM
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