Trump Will Reportedly Come Down Hard On China, But Not Russia, In His Upcoming Foreign Policy Address

On Monday, Michael Anton, the communications director for the National Security Council, seemingly told Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade that Donald Trump‘s upcoming foreign policy address would be going easy on Russia. China, as Kilmeade indicated per an early copy of the address obtained by Politico, would be identified as a “strategic competitor.” But Russia? Not so much, per Anton. “He identifies Russia the same way he has been talking about Russia all year,” said the guest. “The president had a phone call with President Putin yesterday. We put out a statement about that phone call. It was a great example of cooperation.”

The phone call in question came on Sunday, when Russian President Vladimir Putin called Trump to thank him for a CIA tip that allegedly prevented a terrorist attack in St. Petersburg. Just two days prior, the American president thanked Putin for “acknowledging America’s strong economic performance in his annual press conference.” Anton echoed the president’s apparent openness to Russia, saying, “This is a strategy that sees that clearly, prioritizes our interests, and will continue the president’s policy of looking for areas of cooperation while being very clear-eyed about what our interests are, and protecting them.”

Per the copy of the foreign policy plan leaked to Politico, however, Trump’s repetitive calls with Putin — and Anton’s hesitation to take a hard line against Russia on Fox & Friends — fly in the face of the administration’s official stance. According to Politico’s report, the draft document “sternly declares” that both China and Russia “challenge American power, influence and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity.” Trump is currently scheduled to deliver his foreign policy remarks at 2 p.m. ET on Monday.

(Via Mediaite, Politico and New York Times)