Donald Trump revealed part of his foreign policy advisory team and outlined an unabashedly non-interventionist approach to world affairs during a wide-ranging meeting today with The Washington Post’s editorial board.
The Republican presidential front-runner listed for the first time five of the individuals who are part of a team, chaired by Sen. Jeff Sessions, Ala., counseling him on foreign affairs and helping to shape his policies.
Trump began the hour-long meeting by pulling out a list of some of his foreign policy advisers.
“Walid Phares, who you probably know. Ph.D., adviser to the House of Representatives. He’s a counter-terrorism expert,” Trump said. “Carter Page, Ph.D. George Papadopoulos. He’s an oil and energy consultant. Excellent guy. The honorable Joe Schmitz, [was] inspector general at the Department of Defense. General Keith Kellogg. And I have quite a few more. But that’s a group of some of the people that we are dealing with. We have many other people in different aspects of what we do. But that’s pretty representative group.”
Trump said he plans to share more names in the coming days.
Kellogg, a former Army lieutenant general, is an executive vice president at Virginia-based CACI International, a Virginia-based intelligence and information technology consulting firm with clients around the world. He has experience in national defense and homeland security issues and worked as chief operating officer for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad following the invasion of Iraq.
Schmitz served as inspector general at the Department of Defense during the early years of George W. Bush’s administration and has worked for Blackwater Worldwide. In a brief phone call Monday, Schmitz confirmed that he is working for the Trump campaign and said that he has been involved for the past month. He said he frequently confers with Sam Clovis, one of Trump’s top policy advisers, and that there has been a series of conference calls and briefings in recent weeks.
Papadopoulos directs an international energy center at the London Centre of International Law Practice. He previously advised the presidential campaign of Ben Carson and worked as a research fellow at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington.
Phares has an academic background, teaching at the National Defense University and Daniel Morgan Academy in Washington, and has advised members of Congress as well as appeared as a television analyst on terrorism and the Middle East.
Page, a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and now the managing partner of Global Energy Capital, is a longtime energy-industry executive who rose through the ranks at Merrill Lynch around the world before founding his current firm. He previously was a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations where he focused on the Caspian Sea region and the economic development in former Soviet states, according to his company biography and documents from his appearances at panels over the past decade.
Trump’s meeting with members of The Post’s editorial board covered a range of issues, from media libel laws and violence at his rallies to climate change, the North American Treaty Organization and the U.S. presence in Asia. The meeting was on the record. An audio recording was shared by the editorial board and a full transcript will be posted later Monday.
Trump was accompanied to the meeting, which took place at The Post’s new headquarters, by his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and spokeswoman, Hope Hicks.
(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Philip Rucker, Robert Costa