Cheney grills Pence on Trump’s overseas coverage

Cheney grills Pence on Trump’s overseas coverage

Former Vice President Dick Cheney criticized President Donald Trump's foreign policy - even likening his policies to those of President Barack Obama - during a confrontational discussion with current Vice President Mike Pence, the Washington Post reported.

Thanking Cheney for starting the tradition of regular vice presidential lunches with the commander in chief, Pence stuck to his own script, providing responses that one attendee characterized as "colorless as possible".

Former Vice President Dick Cheney reportedly tore into Vice President Mike Pence and the Trump administration during a private gathering of lawmakers, White House officials, and Republican donors, according to multiple news reports on Monday.

The former vice president specifically slammed the U.S. for suspending joint military drills with South Korea and for Trump's alleged intention to make Germany, Japan, and South Korea to pay for the American deployment on the Korean Peninsula, calling it a "New York State real estate [type of] deal".

Pence reportedly deflected the criticism with quips of his own.

Cheney reportedly referenced a Bloomberg report that claimed Trump was formulating a so-called "Cost Plus 50" demand - a plan for foreign allies to reimburse the United States for its military presence in the country.

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Trump Jr.'s tweet reflected his father's qualms with the Bush administration's foreign policy after 9/11. Pence joked at one point, in reference to the grilling he was getting.

Cheney reportedly said Trump's stance toward North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, where he has urged countries to stump up more for their defense budgets, "feeds this notion on the part of our allies overseas, especially in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, 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".

"Some people think the president and I are kind of different", Pence said as the crowd laughed, according to the Post.

Cheney also raised alarm over news reports that Trump does not spend sufficient time with his intelligence briefers as well as over frequent staff churn in key national security postings. He said later, as the event ended: "Gee, look at the time".

"I think there is a tendency by critics of the president and our administration to conflate the demand that our allies live up to their word and their commitments and an erosion in our commitment to the post-World War II order", Pence added.

The clash is an example of the ongoing tension in the Republican Party between the more hawkish Bush-era wing that pushed for USA intervention in Iraq in 2003, and Trump's homefront-focused policies that look to withdraw from conflicts overseas so as to deal with domestic national security issues.

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