President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will speak by telephone on Saturday, but presidential counsel Kellyanne Conway wouldn't say Friday which of the leaders initiated the appointment.
"It also doesn't matter," Conway told the "CBS This Morning" program. "We have to have leaders talking to each other. We have to forge better relationships around the globe."
Trump continues to talk to leaders of foreign nations, Conway said, pointing out that he will meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May Friday at the White House.
"That's what presidents do."
Conway said she assumes Trump and Putin will discuss the "interests of their respective countries," including "issues where you can find common ground...and where these two nations could maybe defeat radical Islamic terrorism."
On Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program, Conway said if Putin wants to have a serious conversation about how to defeat radical Islamic terrorism, "we are listening.""
"That's what we call them around this White House," she said. "We don't call them our quote determined enemies like Hillary Clinton did in her convention speech in July in Philadelphia. Don't even know who that means. We call them radical Islamic terrorists and murderers here."
And if another country with "considerable resources wishes to join the United States of America to try to defeat and eradicate radical Islamic terrorism, we are listening. It's very important to at least have this conversation."
Trump, however, won't be meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who tweeted Thursday he will not attend a meeting planned for Jan. 31 with Trump, also using Twitter to make his announcement after Trump tweeted the meeting should be canceled if Mexico won't agree to pay the costs to build a border wall.
Trump later claimed the decision to cancel the meeting was mutual, telling House and Senate Republicans during their retreat in Philadelphia on Thursday that he and Nieto "have agreed to cancel our planned meeting scheduled for next week . . . such a meeting would be fruitless."
Conway on Friday's CBS interview defended Trump's plans for the wall, and said there have been possibilities floated to make Mexico pay for the wall by taxing imports "anywhere from five to 20 percent."
Her comments came a day after press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters the proposal for a 20 percent import tax.
Conway admitted that Mexico could retaliate with a tax on goods coming from the United States, as "they can do what they want."
Mexico doesn't want the wall, said Conway, "because they want to continue to allow people and, I assume, drugs, since they're not doing much to stop that, pouring over our borders."
However, Mexico should pay for the wall because they get "an awful lot through this country," Conway said.
Conway "Fox & Friends" pointed out that the United States has a $60 billion trade deficit with Mexico.
"NAFTA is a great example of trade deals that are inequitable to the United States and her workers and her interests and her allies," Conway told the Fox News panel.
"We spend billions of dollars defending the borders of other nations. High time we did that here in the United States. We are a sovereign nation. We have people and drugs flowing over that border."
The top revenue source in Mexico is "money coming from the United States, going into Mexico, by Mexicans who work here," said Conway. "In addition to all the other money that we send to Mexico every single year."
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