Former CIA analyst and National Security Council chief of staff Fred Fleitz says President Biden should replace Secretary of State Antony Blinken after a U.S.-China summit in Alaska this week dissolved into insults and little diplomatic progress.
“I think it was one of the most incompetent displays I’ve ever seen by an American diplomat,” Fleitz told the John Solomon Reports podcast. “Insulting the Chinese just before the talks begin, before the cameras causing them to lose face. I just thought, ‘This is amateur hour.'”
“Donald Trump knew how to deal with heads of state of our enemies. And these guys, I think they were just virtue signaling before the lapdog American media. It was a serious mistake and it set back our policies and it made them look inept because they weren’t ready for the counter attack by Chinese officials,” said Fleitz, who served as chief of staff on the Trump NSC.
“I mean, we gave them an opportunity to dress down the Secretary of State and National Security Advisor in front of the international press. What a disaster.”
Fleitz proposed a solution to avoid another “disaster” like this again: find a new Secretary of State who has “gravitas.”
“I think the president needs a new Secretary of State – someone with gravitas. Maybe (Sen.) Chris Coons, maybe (former Sen.) Joe Lieberman – someone who is a liberal and a Democrat, but has gravitas and is knowledgeable – not just a staff aide or an Obama retread. Someone with deep thoughts,” he said. “There’s just no one like that in this administration.”
Fleitz continued, “The president can’t even remember the name of the Secretary of Defense, which isn’t an accident because most people can’t remember his name. I think he’s a good man.”
“But I mean, where are the Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powells, and Condoleezza Rices and Jim Bakers? I didn’t agree with all of them, but they were men and women of stature. When they went to an international meeting, foreigners took notice. When Tony Blinken goes somewhere, people are thinking, ‘What the hell is this?'”
Fleitz added his concerns with U.S. foreign policy regarding China and Iran.
“I think China is the biggest threat. I’m worried that they’re going to get more aggressive when they sense weakness. And I think big, big concessions to Iran are coming to get the U.S. back in the nuclear deal.”