Peter King Has A Major Concern About Donald Trump
Before the first general election debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the arena at Hofstra University was packed with partisans of all stripes. One of them was Rep. Peter King, a moderate-ish Republican who once threatened to leave politics if Trump won the GOP nomination. Like so many other Republicans, King ultimately came around to his party's nominee. But in an interview with Bustle, the Long Island Republican made clear that he still has one concern about his candidate of choice, and it's a rather big one.
"I wish on foreign policy that [Trump] would realize the rippling consequences of decisions," King tells Bustle. "For instance, with Putin or North Korea. That sort of thing."
It's unclear precisely which of Trump's decisions, or potential decisions, King is referring to. Trump has said that he'd meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, and the Kim regime has endorsed Trump for president. The connections between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, are too complex and numerous to recount here, but suffice to say Trump has struck a far more conciliatory tone towards Putin than most Republicans do.
King himself has criticized Trump for being too affectionate toward Putin. Now, he has made it clear that he doesn't think Trump realizes "the rippling consequences of decisions" that he might make with regard to Putin. That's concerning — anticipating long-term consequences is one of the cornerstones of a successful foreign policy, and when politicians fail to foresee those consequences, the results can be catastrophic. Indeed, one could plausibly argue that an inability to consider the "rippling consequences" of foreign policy is a disqualifying attribute for a would-be president.
But hey — party loyalty is a strong thing!
King did say that, despite this very big qualm, he's has no issue with the bulk of Trump's campaign. "On balance, I support his policies," King tells Bustle. "I think somebody has to realize that these policies aren’t in a vacuum. They’re definitely interconnected.”
When we asked if he was concerned that his support for Trump could be a stain on his political legacy, King was decidedly unworried. "No, I’m fine," King says. "My legacy, such that it is, is whatever it is.”
Well, you certainly can't argue with that.
Emily Shire contributed to this report.