Vice President Mike Pence sat down with Breitbart News for an exclusive interview, in which he told them that President Donald Trump has shown that he “leads from a standpoint of strength.”
When Pence was asked to define the “Trump Doctrine” following the killing of Iran’s terrorist leader Qasem Soleimani. He responded with an explanation of Trump’s track record, stating that he is a man who leads from a position of “strength.”
“The president would be best to articulate that, but what I can tell you is that leaders around the world know we have a president who once again embraces America’s role as leader of the free world,” Pence said, “He leads from a standpoint of strength.”
The president’s unique approach to leadership, the vice president told Breitbart News, can be seen in America’s dealings during his presidency with allies and with adversaries alike—and it is different than previous administrations. Examples of dealing with allies include the recently approved U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement, which Pence discussed in the first part of his exclusive interview with Breitbart News, or working with European partners to strengthen NATO commitments—which have increased significantly since Trump became president.
“He’s demonstrated a willingness to engage countries all over the world, allies and adversaries, but to do so from a position of strength,” Pence continued, “With regard to North Korea, we’ve seen the president’s historic summit, but different than past administrations, there’s been no sanctions relief. The president has made it clear: no nuclear weapons in North Korea and that there would be no sanctions relief until Kim Jong-un stepped forward and agreed to complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization.”
Concerning China, which is a different kind of adversary in that it is much more of a “strategic and economic competitor” of the United States, Pence said that President Trump has taken a “very similar” approach, that he began with building a personal relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, then made clear what the U.S. positions on matters of trade and international relations are, then used the economic power of tariffs to force China to the negotiating table, which resulted in this week’s just-signed phase one trade deal with China and the beginning of broader negotiations with Beijing.
“The strong stand the president has taken with China is very similar,” Pence added, “China is a strategic and economic competitor. The president first started with President Xi. He’s engaged President Xi. He’s forged a very strong relationship with President Xi. But at the same time, he followed through on what he promised. He imposed tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods. We said the era of economic surrender is over. We brought China to the table, and yesterday’s phase one deal is a beginning of a new relationship with China that is built on reciprocity and free trade and fair trade. The negotiations will continue over a broader trade agreement from there.”
“With regard to military strength, the last administration drew a red line in the sand, and when Assad in Syria crossed it, did nothing,” the Vice President said. “Not only did that result in hundreds of thousands of lost lives in Syria, but it was shortly thereafter that Russia overran Crimea and Russian surrogates compromised eastern Ukraine. Contrast President Obama’s leadership with President Trump: President Trump declared that the use of chemical weapons would have severe consequences. The difference between Obama—when chemical weapons were used—is we launched 50 cruise missiles.”
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