John Bolton: Trump Phone Call With President of Taiwan 'Exactly the Right Thing to Do'
While establishmentarian heads continue to explode over President-elect Donald Trump's controversial phone call with the president of Taiwan last week, one of his potential candidates for secretary of State says it's much ado about nothing. Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, who met with Trump on Friday to discuss the vital cabinet position, said on Fox Business Monday that taking the congratulatory phone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen was "exactly the right thing to do."
"I think the President of the United States should talk to any foreign leader he thinks its in the interest of the United States to talk to," Bolton told Fox Business host Lou Dobbs.
"Tsai Ing-wen is a democratically elected president of a representative government in Taiwan -- a free government, a free press, a free economy ... the whole bit," he said.
Bolton pointed out that the Taiwanese people have been friends with the United States for decades, even after "we treated them shabbily, time and time again."
"From what happened with the loss to China in the UN when they were replaced by Beijing, to the derecognition during the Carter administration -- over and over again," he noted. "And they have stood with us -- it's a remarkable record."
Dobbs said he was "heartened" to see the president step up and talk to whomever he pleases.
"And let's be clear," Bolton added. "This is a telephone conversation. This doesn't necessarily mean anything in terms of policy changes."
He continued, saying that "if you are in a place where you can't even talk to the leader of Taiwan, who put us in that place? What is it about the United States and its president that we feel inhibited in talking to somebody. I just want to have it explained why it's so upsetting to Beijing that we acknowledge this political and geographic reality off their coast."
Bolton also said he was in favor of shaking things up with China on "Fox & Friends" Sunday morning. "Honestly, I think we should shake the relationship up. For the past several years China has made aggressive... belligerent claims in the South China Sea."