Tags: chris coons | donald trump | twitter | put the phone down

Sen. Coons Calls on Trump to 'Put the Phone Down'

Sen. Coons Calls on Trump to 'Put the Phone Down'
Sen. Chris Coons (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 12 October 2017 12:29 PM

Sen. Chris Coons Thursday called on President Donald Trump to "put the phone down" and quit "conducting foreign policy and national security by tweet.'

"This is a very concerning time," the Delaware Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program, stressing that he's said Trump should step away from social media for some time.

"It's not a well-honed tool for complex international negotiations," Coons commented, adding that he deeply respects Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who Trump has been attacking fiercely on Twitter.

"He has led the Foreign Relations Committee in a responsible and constructive way," Coons told the program. "I know many of my colleagues, both Democrat and Republican, share concerns that this is a moment when we need to be letting our diplomats focus on marshaling the world to confront North Korea, engaging China successfully."

Further, he said, Trump's "casual throwaway lines" remind him of coming from a "more reality TV star than world leader," and are "destabilizing at a time when we need his focused leadership."

Coons said that he does not see the United States taking any concrete military steps to prepare for a major confrontation with North Korea, which "makes it possible for me to sleep at night."

"We have not pulled out the tens of thousands of American independents or the U.S. troops in the peninsula, we haven't pre-positioned fuel and mobilized significant numbers of jet fighters and bombers and ships, which our military would, if we were beginning serious planning stages for an imminent confrontation," the senator said. "Most of what I see so far is there is a fair amount of bluster and threatening and war talk between the leaders of North Korea and the United States."

He said he is concerned about misunderstandings, which could create a rapid escalation, given the "bellicose rhetoric we are hearing out of the leaders of both countries."

Coons said members of Congress have been pressing for a strategy for North Korea and other matters from the administration.

"There is a number of, I think, destabilizing steps that the administration is taking," he said. "I'm very concerned about the president moving to decertify that the Iran nuclear deal is in the best interest of the United States...we need to be demanding a strategy that we can get behind."

Coons also commented on Trump's tweet that he could perhaps revoke licenses of media outlets over the news they publish, such as NBC for its story about his questions over the nation's nuclear weapons capabilities.

"The president is popping off on Twitter in a way that is normalizing unconstitutional statements," Coons said. "The president can't pull a license for NBC. The Federal Communications Commission, which is an independent agency, licenses individual stations, not whole networks . . . but the idea that the president would repeatedly engage in public statements that are just obviously undermining the First Amendment is an alarming development."

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Sen. Chris Coons Thursday called on President Donald Trump to "put the phone down" and quit "conducting foreign policy and national security by tweet."
chris coons, donald trump, twitter, put the phone down
Thursday, 12 October 2017 12:29 PM
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