John Kasich, a former Republican rival of U.S. President Donald Trump, told Handelsblatt in an interview that the White House needs to “get on the same page” when it comes to foreign policy issues.
To have the leader say one thing or give the impression of one thing and let the cabinet give a whole other impression is not helpful,” Mr. Kasich told Handelsblatt on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference held this weekend. “They have to get on the same page.”
Mr. Kasich’s comment comes after Vice President Mike Pence, speaking at the Munich Security Conference, sought to reassure U.S. allies in Europe that the White House is “unwavering in our commitment to the trans-Atlantic alliance.”
Mr. Trump has repeatedly slammed U.S. allies for not spending enough on defense and has called the NATO alliance “obsolete,” raising concern in Europe that Washington is distancing itself from the alliance.
Mr. Kasich, governor of the U.S. state of Ohio said European allies still weren’t sure whose comments reflected U.S. policy, those of Mr. Pence or Mr. Trump.
Here’s a disparity between what they hear from the president and what they hear from the people who work for them,” Mr. Kasich said.
While Mr. Pence sought to reassure allies about the U.S. commitment to NATO, White House officials have not given the same reassurances about the European Union. Mr. Trump has repeatedly championed Britain’s decision to leave the bloc.
Mr. Kasich, a moderate Republican, said that he didn’t see the European Union as a key component of U.S. relations with the continent.
“I don’t see that us having to support some operation in Brussels is key to our relationship,” Mr. Kasich said. “Our fundamental relationship is security, it’s trade, it’s relationships. The E.U. is your invention, it’s not ours.”