President Trump, as U.S. commander-in-chief and leader of the free world, “leads from a standpoint of strength,” Vice President Mike Pence told Breitbart in an exclusive interview on Thursday, Jan. 16.
Speaking with Pence as he traveled from Joint Base Andrews in the D.C. suburbs on Air Force Two, and then on his campaign bus from Tampa to Orlando, Breitbart asked Pence to define the Trump Doctrine.
“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.”
His strength has been demonstrated in the unique way he has handled the problems in Iran, including the decision to take out terrorist leader Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a precision airstrike, also the recent raid in northwest Syria that resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
“The progress we’ve made against radical Islamic terrorism, the defeat of the territory of the Islamic caliphate, taking out al-Baghdadi, the defeat of terrorism, and removing of one of the most dangerous terrorists in the world, Qassem Soleimani—after 20 years,” Pence said. “I spoke with a father today whose son fell in Iraq in 2007. He wept. He came to the rally today in Tampa to tell me how much he supported President Trump’s decision to take out Qassem Soleimani because his son Joshua had fallen at the hands of an IED in Iraq provided by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard under the leadership of Qassem Soleimani. So I really believe that it’s peace through strength, and it’s a demonstrated willingness to use America’s military might when America’s lives or America’s interests are at risk.”
The recently approved U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement, along with working with European partners to strengthen NATO commitments, demonstrate President Trump’s commitment to his allies.
During his presidency, the president has had many roles to fulfill, including speaking to his adversaries. “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 said.
President Trump is remaining firm on his stance with North Korea, keeping sanctions in place until total denuclearization is achieved in the country. At the same time, however, he has managed to keep negotiations open with leader Kim Jong Un.
“With regard to North Korea, we’ve seen the president’s historic summit, but different than past administrations, there’s been no sanctions relief,” Pence said. “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.”
The president has forged a good relationship with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, and by applying heavy tariffs, he was able to negotiate with China and seal a phase one deal, based on fair trading.
“The strong stand the president has taken with China is very similar,” Pence said. “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.”