In a recent “off-the-record” discussion with Vice President Mike Pence, former Vice President Dick Cheney compared President Donald Trump’s foreign policy to former President Barack Obama’s, according to a transcript obtained by The Washington Post.
At one point during what the Post described as a “vigorous back-and-forth,” which took place during a March 9 retreat in Sea Island, Georgia that was hosted by the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute, Pence remarked: “Well, who wrote these softball questions?” He said later, as the event ended: “Gee, look at the time.”
Referring to Trump’s talk with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that preceded that withdrawal announcement, Cheney “fretted,” in the Post’s words, that Trump made the decision in “the middle of a phone call.”
“We’re getting into a situation when our friends and allies around the world that we depend upon are going to lack confidence in us,” he said, adding: “I worry that the bottom line of that kind of an approach is we have an administration that looks a lot more like Barack Obama than Ronald Reagan.”
Politico also reported on the discussion. A spokesperson for Pence confirmed to the Post that the exchange took place.
Referring to a report that Trump wanted countries that host American forces to pay a premium for their presence, Cheney said: “I don’t know, that sounded like a New York State real estate deal to me.”
And regarding Trump’s anti-NATO sentiments, the former vice president said they “[feed] this notion on the part of our allies overseas, especially in NATO, that we’re not long for that continued relationship, that we’re looking eagerly to find ways where somebody else will pick up the tab.”
Pence responded to Cheney’s concerns at one point by saying that “when the American people elected this president, they elected a president who expressed concern about American deployments around the world, and they knew this was going to be a president that came and asked the fundamental questions about — you know, where are we deployed and do we really need to be asking men and women in uniform to be deployed in that part of the world?”
Read the Post’s full report here.