President Donald Trump has put the "absolute A-team" together when it comes to foreign policy, but he'll also need to be open to taking their advice, retired Admiral James Stavridis said Tuesday.
"So far we've seen so many contradictions in the foreign policy, from the one China policy to the two China policy," the former NATO supreme allied commander told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program, Trump has also spoken of his willingness to accept a one-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians and has delivered mixed messages on Russia.
"Will he take their advice?" Stavridis said. "I hope so. Does he have the right team? Absolutely."
Trump added Lt. Gen. Herbert Raymond McMaster as national security adviser, a choice Stavridis, who is also MSNBC's chief diplomacy analyst, praised.
McMaster served under Stavridis in Afghanistan, where he tackled "maybe the hardest problem there, which was corruption inside the military, and he did very well at that. He's the complete package."
Stavridis said he does think the next "shoe to drop" will concern Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who "famously has a personal relationship" with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but he thinks that connection will prove positive at a time when Russia and the United States are so far apart.
Also on Tuesday, Stavridis commented on the news that 74 bodies of migrants have washed ashore in Libya, while refugees' deaths have risen to record levels along the Mediterranean smuggling routes.
"As a mariner, it just hurts your heart," said Stavridis. "I've been in those scenarios at sea and seen incredibly hard things to watch with migrants at sea. This is a particularly bad one."
The former NATO commander said he believes the alliance should become more involved across the Mediterranean smuggling routes, as it has been fairly effective in the Aegean Sea.
"Let's get them between Italy and Libya and see what we can do," he said. "[There are] 800 ships in the NATO alliance [and] we have a lot of capacity. Secondly, we have to address the challenges in Libya itself. It's become a primary conduit."
Meanwhile, Stavridis said he does not agree with Trump's negative comments about refugees from the Middle East.
"We want to be safe, and we want to vet," the retired admiral said. "I think we've been doing that fairly well."
But Stavridis said he also believes the United States should think about bringing in more refugees, because "over time, they will contribute to our society in very meaningful ways."
"Think about how much determination and creativity and true grit it takes to put your 2-year-old daughter on your back, grab your 4-year-old son's hands and walk across Turkey," said Stavridis.
"I want that person on my team. We have an opportunity cost not taking many of these people."
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