Tillerson: Sebastian Gorka Is "Completely Wrong" About Radical Islam, Afghanistan, "Globalism vs. America First"


Secretary of State Rex Tillerson responds to claims made in Sebastian Gorka's resignation letter about the divisions inside the Trump administration between "America-Firsters" and so-called "Globalists."

Gorka resigned, saying the decision to send more troops to Afghanistan indicated that "forces that do not support the MAGA [Make America Great Again] promise are – for now – ascendant within the White House."

WALLACE: Sebastian Gorka, one of the president’s spokesmen on foreign policy, was fired on Friday -- this following the firing of Steve Bannon. And some folks are saying that this is -- particularly on the right, further to the right, I should say -- are saying that this is a victory of the globalists, and they include you in that group, over the so-called America Firsters.

Sebastian Gorka in his resignation letter wrote this about the Afghanistan speech: The fact that those who drafted and approved the speech remove any mention of radical Islam or radical Islamic terrorism proves that a crucial element of the presidential campaign has been lost.

Is Gorka right?

TILLERSON: I think he’s completely wrong, Chris. And I think it shows a lack of understanding of the president's broader policy when it comes to protecting Americans at home and abroad from all acts of terrorism. Terrorism, as we've said, manifests itself in many types of organization.

The president has charged us to develop policies and tactics both diplomatically and militarily to attack terrorism in as many forms, wherever it exists in the world and wherever it might present a threat to the homeland or to Americans anywhere. This means that we have to develop techniques that are global in their nature. All we want is to ensure that terrorists do not have the capability to organize and carry out attacks.

WALLACE: So, what you make of this division between America Firsters and so-called globalists?

TILLERSON: I don't see any division, Chris. I think it's a question of tactics and how you achieve those objectives. I think the president has been clear in his speech in Afghanistan that we are not undertaking nation-building.

So, we will be shifting our diplomatic and aid and development programs as well to coincide with the president’s view that the Afghan government and that Afghan people must own their form of government. And they must come to some reconciliation with all ethnic groups, including the Taliban, as to how they can secure their country, as a peaceful country, one that does not support terrorism, does not provide safe havens for terrorists and does not align itself with any terrorist organizations or countries that do. That's what winning looks like.

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