Stephen Moore, an economic adviser to Donald Trump, made crystal clear during an interview Monday how he felt about the president-elect’s call with the president of Taiwan.
“If China doesn’t like it, screw ‘em,” Moore, one of five Steves on Trump’s economic advisory team, told the hosts of the Big John and Ray radio show, according to CNN.
“We gotta stand by Taiwan,” he continued. “We see what’s happening in China with the way they’re saber-rattling out there in the East, and it’s about time we do what Reagan did: We stand up to these bullies and say we’re not gonna let you do this.”
Trump’s phone conversation with Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ying-wen, marked the first time in more than 30 years than an American president-elect has talked to a leader of the island, which the U.S. does not officially recognize as a sovereign nation.
Trump tweeted on Friday that he had spoken with Tsai, saying she called “to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency.”
The controversial call illustrated the untraditional and, frankly, alarming approach Trump is taking toward diplomacy, causing many experts to say the president-elect may have altered decades of relations with China.
The White House stood by its longtime foreign policy stance after news of the call broke, saying in a statement on Friday that it remained “firmly committed to our ‘one China’ policy,’” which maintains that Taiwan is part of China.
Moore, however, said he welcomes Trump’s unconventional tactics.
“I love the fact that Trump did that,” he said. “Too many mamby-pamby people in the foreign policy shop are saying, ‘Oh my gosh we can’t do this, we might insult the Chinese.’”
Listen to the full interview with Moore on the Big John and Ray website.