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Rep. Pete King: Trump Should Confine Tweets to 'Serious Policy Issues'

Rep. Pete King: Trump Should Confine Tweets to 'Serious Policy Issues'
(AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 29 November 2017 12:06 PM

President Donald Trump is very "serious and focused" while talking one-on-one or when he's working, and he needs to follow that focus on serious issues if he's going to use Twitter to communicate, Rep. Pete King said Wednesday after the president's morning tweet series stirred controversy.

"In my dealings with him when we're talking about serious issues, he's very serious and focused," the New York Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. 

"If he is going to tweet, he should confine it to serious policy issues, not pass along unverified videos, and also by bringing up these other extraneous issues."

Wednesday, the president's messages included three retweeted anti-Muslim videos from the account of a leader of a British alt-right, ultranationalist group.

The videos were posted without context by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of hate group Britain First, and purportedly show Muslims committing violence and shattering a statue of the Virgin Mary.

Trump also tweeted that leaders at NBC should be fired for putting out "fake news," while responding to reports that "Today" show host Matt Lauer had been fired, as well as varying messages about the economy.

He also made a major announcement that he'd spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping, and that sanctions would be enacted following North Korea's apparent test launch of another missile.

On Tuesday, one of his tweets caused Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to pull out of a meeting they were to attend with Trump and their Republican counterparts.

King on Wednesday said lawmakers don't "have the luxury of reality TV," an apparent reference to Trump's former NBC "Apprentice" stint, but that they have to focus on serious issues.

"I'm really heartened by the fact that people like Gen. [James] Mattis, Gen. [H.R.] McMaster, that they are there with the president," said King. "They do, I think, provide sound guidance."

"I think as far as the serious decisions when I've been with him, he's focused and he does get the job done," said King. "I wish he would not go into these extraneous issues and I don't think it serves a purpose to be looking for a fight with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi when we have the possibility of the government shutting down next week."

King said he also is concerned that during a time of "so much chaos, so much confusion, so much mindless hatred and so much extremism" that the nation needs a leader who can "calm everybody down."

However, King said he does not know if Trump is a person who can calm the country.

"He's great at mobilizing support, obviously, as he showed when he ran for president," said King. "But again, being president, it's important really to provide strong, firm leadership, calm leadership.

"Ronald Reagan was able to appeal to a broad section of people. Again, when the crisis was there, he was able to deliver speeches, be able to reassure the American people and you felt very confident that the man was in control."

King, though, held back when he was asked if he was sure that Trump could provide "moral leadership."

"The president has different type personalities," said King. "I grew up with guys like President Trump in Queens. Maybe I'm guilty of it at times too. You say things, you get out there, you try to be provocative. There's a time and place for everything. Right now I think we've reached a stage where it's important to have calm leadership. I'm hoping the president can make that transition."

King, though, said he's been able to criticize the president, pointing to the tax reform plan, and Trump will still refer to him as a friend.

"I wish I did have some time to sit down in a quiet setting," said King. "Usually when I say meetings, there are three or four people there. I would like the opportunity to sit down and just talk."

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President Donald Trump is very "serious and focused" while talking one-on-one or when he's working, and he needs to follow that focus on serious issues if he's going to use Twitter to communicate, Rep. Pete King said Wednesday...
pete king, trump, tweets, serious, issues
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2017-06-29
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 12:06 PM
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