Sen. Chris Murphy

Washington –  Kellyanne Conway, a top adviser to President-elect Donald Trump, attacked Sen. Chris Murphy for tweeting that Trump’s recent calls with foreign leaders, especially the president of Taiwan, are “how wars start.”

“It sounds like Sen. Murphy’s tweet is pretty incendiary,” Conway said in an interview with CNN. “This is how wars start, and it’s a major policy shift because he had a phone call? That’s pretty negative and pretty presumptuous.”

Murphy lit up the twitterverse late Friday by attacking Trump for his overtures to foreign leaders.

“It’s probably time we get a Secretary of State nominee on board. Preferably w experience. Like, really really soon,” Murphy tweeted.

On Friday, the Trump transition team announced the president-elect had spoken with the leaders of Afghanistan, Singapore, the Philippines and Taiwan.


“President-elect Trump spoke with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, who offered her congratulations,” a release by the transition team said. “During the discussion, they noted the close economic, political, and security ties exists between Taiwan and the United States. President-elect Trump also congratulated President Tsai on becoming President of Taiwan earlier this year.”

The problem is that some say the call violated the spirit of the United States’ one-China policy and could cause a rift with China.

No U.S. president has had a conversation with a Taiwanese leader since 1979.

Trump also raised eyebrows with his call to President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines.

Sen. Chris Murphy
Sen. Chris Murphy

Since assuming office this year, Duterte has threatened to tear up major parts of his country’s military alliance with the United States, and a meeting with President Obama was canceled earlier this year after the Philippine president called Obama  a “son of a whore.”

Some suggested Trump is allowed to shift U.S. foreign policy.

But Murphy, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said what Trump is doing is more than a shift – and is dangerous.

“What has happened in the last 48 hours is not a shift,” Murphy tweeted. “These are major pivots in foreign policy w/out any plan. That’s how wars start.”

On Saturday, Murphy continued his campaign against Trump’s foreign policy.

“I met w Duterte in Manila this summer. His ‘campaign’  involves murdering dealers and addicts (over 1,000 so far),” Murphy tweeted.

Updated Saturday at 11:45 with comments from Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway.

Ana has written about politics and policy in Washington, D.C.. for Gannett, Thompson Reuters and UPI. She was a special correspondent for the Miami Herald, and a regular contributor to The New York TImes, Advertising Age and several other publications. She has also worked in broadcast journalism, for CNN and several local NPR stations. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.

Leave a comment