- The Washington Times
Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Trump White House adviser Kellyanne Conway defended the U.S. relationships with European allies and President Trump’s approach to dealing with Putin on Tuesday, ahead of his visit with European leaders.

During an interview on Fox News Channel’s “America’s Newsroom,” Ms. Conway rejected the claim made by EU President Donald Tusk that the U.S. doesn’t have many allies.

Mr. Tusk sent the harsh message directly to Mr. Trump, denying that the U.S. defends Europe by itself, according to a Washington Post report.

“It is always worth knowing who is your strategic friend and who is your strategic problem,” the former Polish prime minister said. “Dear America, appreciate your allies. After all, you don’t have that many. And dear Europe, spend more on your defense, because everybody expects an ally that is well-prepared and equipped.”

Ms. Conway pushed back against Mr. Tusk’s rhetoric, emphasizing the U.S. loyalty to allies while reaffirming the president’s stance on contribution shares between NATO members.

“The president is very clear we are committed to the Nato alliance but he also wants everybody to pay their fair share,” the counselor to Mr. Trump said. “This president feels like this country has been the world’s piggy bank for far too long.”

Before departing for his international trip on Tuesday, Mr. Trump said meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin would be easier than visiting allies.

Ms. Conway defended the president, who is criticized for seemingly more cordial to Russia than U.S. allies, emphasizing the times when Mr. Trump has been tough on Russian citizens in the U.S.

When asked if Mr. Trump will tell Mr. Putin to stop interfering with U.S. elections,  Ms. Conway declined to give a specific answer.

“We don’t want anyone interfering with elections,” she said.

She focused on the claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 elections.

“Nobody is even saying that anymore,” she said regarding the collusion claims. 

The only person, according to Ms. Conway, still hung up on Russian collusion claims is Hillary Clinton because “she can’t admit why she lost the election.”

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit that accused the Trump campaign worked with Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election on Thursday.

• Gabriella Muñoz can be reached at gmunoz@washingtontimes.com.

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