Kellyanne Conway on Sunday downplayed President-elect Donald Trump’s telephone conversation last week with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
Trump’s unprecedented conversation with the leader of Taiwan broke with more than 35 years of formal U.S. policy in a move that could incense China.
Conway insisted that Trump is “well aware” of America’s one-China policy and simply accepted another congratulatory call from one of dozens of leaders who have reached out to him and Vice President-elect Mike Pence since their election.
“It was just a phone call at this point,” Conway said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“It signals the fact that he accepted a congratulatory call. I know that China has a perspective on it, I know the White House and State Department probably have a perspective on it, and certainly Taiwan has a perspective on it, but the president-elect’s perspective is that he accepted a congratulatory call.”
Conway added that Trump will “make clear what the fullness of his plans are” after he’s sworn in as president, “but people shouldn’t read too much into it.”
“[The] president-elect received a phone call from a world leader in another country,” she said. “We know about one China. He knows about one China. He’s routinely briefed on these matters, and that’s just what it is.”
Trump, she concluded, “is not out there making policy or announcing new policy prescriptions worldwide.”
“He’s merely taking phone calls, and he will, I’m sure, reengage with many of these leaders once he takes the oath of office,” she said.