Published: Sun, January 15, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Trump's foreign policy team doesn't agree with him on Russia or torture

A report by the Wall Street Journal on Friday suggested that Trump might do away with USA sanctions against Russian Federation - imposed by the Obama administration in late December in response to Moscow's alleged cyber attacks - if Moscow proves helpful in battling terrorists and reaching other goals important to Washington, the Journal reported.

In an hour-long interview published on January 13, Trump also said he is not committed to a "one China" policy on Taiwan that has been in place for decades, reopening a major issue that Beijing has regarded as a non-negotiable matter.

"I am deeply concerned how the President-Elect continues to parrot Russian President Vladimir Putin's talking points".

He said he would not commit to America's agreement with China that Taiwan was not to be recognized diplomatically, a policy known as "One China" until he saw progress from Beijing in its currency and trade practices. He once again defended receiving the congratulatory call from Taiwan's president, essentially calling the whole controversy ridiculous and adding that "it would have been very rude not to accept the phone call".

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency and Office of Director of National Intelligence agree that Russian Federation was behind hacks into Democratic Party organizations and operatives ahead of the November 8 presidential election.

However, on Wednesday, Trump conceded that hackers acting on behalf of the Russian government were likely responsible for the leak of terabytes of private e-mails from Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) during the 2016 presidential election.

Chinese political observers on Sunday said they expected Beijing's response to change once Trump is inaugurated next week. The call angered China, and Chinese officials have further criticized Trump's incoming cabinet, with Secretary of State-nominee Rex Tillerson having called to deny China access to Chinese-made islands.

Although the president-elect will be exempt from conflict of interest laws and his advisers argue that the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution are not applicable to Trump's holdings, Dillion said: "he's voluntarily taken this on".

Trump raised eyebrows about the policy last month when the president-elect spoke over the phone with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. "Certainly they are manipulators, but I'm not looking to do that".

"Instead of saying: "We're devaluating our currency", they say, "oh, our currency is dropping". Benjamin, now at Dartmouth College, said there was a "strong chance" people would leave and they have "tremendous value" to the private sector.

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