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Idaho’s Risch talks Trump, foreign relations in Politico podcast

Idaho Sen. Jim Risch comments on Trump-Russia conversation

Idaho Sen. Jim Risch made the TV news rounds in May 2017, telling newscasters that President Trump was well within legal and moral rights to disclose classified information to Russian officials.
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Idaho Sen. Jim Risch made the TV news rounds in May 2017, telling newscasters that President Trump was well within legal and moral rights to disclose classified information to Russian officials.

Five months ago, Idaho Sen. Jim Risch was somewhat hesitant to talk about the possibility of being tapped as the next head of the U.S. Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee.

But those reservations seem to be slowly melting away.

In a Politico column released Monday titled “The Dance of the Pro-Trump Republican,” Risch, a Republican, sat down with Politico’s chief international affairs columnist, Susan Glasser, for her podcast to talk about his strategy for working with President Donald Trump and his administration in that very role.

In an interview with the Idaho Statesman in October, Risch largely declined talking about taking on the post after Sen. Bob Corker said he would not seek re-election amid increasingly public clashes with Trump.

“There’s a lot of green between here and the goal posts,” Risch said, which at the time was essentially all he offered up about taking the helm of the committee.

Now, Risch said he would more robustly exercise the construction and execution of the country’s foreign policy – and engage with the Trump administration, albeit more privately than Corker.

“You’ve got somebody right now who tells you what’s on his mind at any moment, at any time,” Risch said of Trump during Glasser’s interview. “So it is what it is and I guess everybody will deal with it as they deem appropriate. Maybe it falls in the category of ‘be careful what you wish for,’ but you’ve got somebody who tells you what’s on his mind clearly and precisely, and using the technology that most people use today to communicate.”

Risch also spoke to Glasser about his recent trip to South Korea for the Olympics, as well as Risch’s comments about North Korea at the Munich Security Conference.

“(Trump) has said and telegraphed plainly what his view is of the North Koreans possessing a weapon that can threaten the United States with a nuclear bomb and that Kim Jong Un needs to listen to him very carefully,” Risch said during the interview.

To read a full transcript of Risch’s interview with Glasser, click here.

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