Vice President Mike Pence endured a thorny line of questioning from his predecessor Dick Cheney about President Donald Trump's foreign policy decisions during a closed-door weekend retreat for Republican donors, Politico and The Washington Post reported.
Cheney pressed Pence about Trump's proclivity for making major policy announcements on Twitter and his off-and-on commitment to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, according to four meeting attendees and a source briefed on their remarks.
Thanking Cheney for starting the tradition of regular vice presidential lunches with the commander in chief, Pence stuck to his own script, providing responses that one attendee characterized as "colorless as possible".
Cheney, who is no stranger to criticism for his policies during President George W. Bush's presidency, directed his frustration to his Republican successor, who was at the annual World Forum meeting in Sea Island, Georgia, on Saturday. Cheney expressed concerns at such actions as taking a harder line toward USA allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and deciding to withdraw troops from Syria during what he fretted was "the middle of a phone call".
Referring to a report that Trump wanted countries that host American forces to pay a premium for their presence, Cheney said: "I don't know, that sounded like a New York State real estate deal to me". Cheney also anxious aloud to Pence that "we're getting into a situation when our friends and allies around the world that we depend upon are going to lack confidence in us" and then offered a blunt criticism of the current administration's response to foreign policy challenges.More news: Le'Veon Bell Will Likely End Up With One of These Teams
More news: Tucker Carlson not apologizing for 'misogynistic' comments
More news: WWE's The Shield delivers final triple powerbomb at Fastlane event
The former vice president also hammered Trump's habit of announcing major policy decisions on Twitter and undermining intelligence officials. Pence joked at one point, in reference to the grilling he was getting. A Pence spokesman confirmed to the Post that the discussion took place but didn't comment.
"I don't know, that sounded like a NY state real estate deal to me", Cheney said of news reports regarding Trump's suggestion of charging foreign allies a premium for the staging USA troops.
"This AEI event was off the record, as a result we have nothing to share", said Veronique Rodman, AEI's director of public affairs. "We have a tremendous alliance there".
"We're going to continue to stand strong for a strong national defence with President Trump in the White House".
The clash is an example of the ongoing tension in the Republican Party between the more hawkish Bush-era wing that pushed for us intervention in Iraq in 2003, and Trump's homefront-focused policies that look to withdraw from conflicts overseas so as to deal with domestic national security issues.