EXCLUSIVE: Trump Foreign Policy Advisor Speaks With KOLO 8
Donald Trump's campaign spoke exclusively with KOLO 8 News Now's Sarah Johns. In this 15 minute interview, Johns and Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, Ret. discuss everything from Nevada's protest vote "None of these Candidates" to what he feels as a former member of the Joint Chiefs about Secretary Clinton's openly discussing Nuclear protocol during the third and final debate.
Sarah: I'm speaking with Gen. Keith Kellogg the Foreign Policy Advisor for Republican Presidential Nominee DT. And Gen. Kellogg thank you for joining us in this conversation today.
Gen. Kellogg: Thank you for having me.
SJ: You know the numbers of registered voters: registered democrats, registerd republicans and those registered for another or third party are very slim. In fact we are going to take a look at that graphic now, and take a look at those numbers. What is it that Mr. T needs to do in order to win the Independent or third party voter here in Washoe County.
Gen. Kellogg: That's a great question. I think what I would ask people to do is sit back before they go into a voting booth or go and do early voting to sit back and say 'are we comfortable with where we are at currently as a nation?' And this is a chance for a change election. And it's probably in our lifetime the last time that we will have it. And what I mean by that is, somebody who is not a politician. He is a private businessman. Um, maybe he's not as polished as some of the others that are out there, but he speaks from the heart and he wants to change the direction of the country for the better. And he wants to make, as he says, make America great again by, um, by when he says 'drain the swamp' - change the rules that we currently have. Everything from electability - meaning he wants term limits. On immigration. On jobs. On security. It's a chance for the nation, it's a chance for the poeple of Nevada to have a chance and a voice in a change election. And I think that's where he has a strength. And that's what I'd ask people to think and listen and think about before they vote.
SJ: We have an interesting protest vote, if you could call it that, here in the state of NV where our voters have another option. And it's "None of These Candidates." For those still on the fence, what does Candidate Trump need to do right now to win those early votes, and prevent someone from checking "None of These Candidates."
Gen. Kellogg: Well, I think what I would ask not neccessarily Mr. Trump, but I would ask the people that are out there, and everybody listening and everybody voting it's they have to think about what the United States would look like for the next 4, 8, 12, 16 20 years. There will be a change in Supreme Court. Which is very clear. Where's the economy going to go, what kind of jobs do we want to have? What do we want to do in securing our borders. And it's a chance for them to say 'okay, this is where we need to go and want to go.' If I, if you were to say there's a protest vote I would say protest against current establishment and the status quo. So, that's the protest vote, if you really want to have a protest vote -- vote for Mr. Trump because it's a protest against everythying we've seen happen in the last 4, 8, 12, 16, 20 years. It's a change. So, I'd ask them to sit back and think. And say, how do they want the nation to look. Because I think a protest vote of "None of the Above," you are in fact just voting for the status quo and not above protest.
SJ: Okay, General, let me ask you this. According to most of the Sunday news yesterday, things looked pretty dire for Candidate Trump. This morning, though, on Good Morning America, Matthew Dowd did say he thinks Secretary Clinton's lead is more like 6 or a 7 and not 12. And that the race will be more like a five or a six point race. Does the campaign think these numbers are more winnable?
Gen. Kellogg: I think, well I, honestly I've been a paratrooper all my life. And paratroopers are used to being surrounded and fighting in every direction out there and always look and say 'this is a tough fight.' And we just look at it as a tough fight. And we understand that we're against an incumbent. And really that's what she is. We understand that we're against the establishment, as you would call it, that's out there. So we're fighting uphill the whole way. And we understand that. But we believe in the American people. We believe the American people will sit back they'll think very hard about this decision and they'll say 'What do we want. Do we want the status quo. Or do we want a change? Change for the better? Change and opportunities going forward?' And it's their opportunity to look at it. I think the vote will narrow. And I think there's a vote out there that the American people will when they walk in on the 8th of November will make that decision. I think the decision is going to be made in a lot of people's mind as they're walking to the polling booth, or as they're doing early voting. And I'd ask them to just think very very hard about the future. And sit back and don't listen to the news, don't listen to the reports that you read. Just sit back and think about themselves and our nation going forward.
SJ: You bring up your experience as a paratrooper, you were also, correct me if I'm wrong, you were on the Joint Chiefs of Staff... What did you think when Secretary Clinton, in the debate, brought up nuclear response times and that four minute window?
Gen. Kellogg: Yeah, that was disturbing to me. And here's why it was disturbing. It continued a pattern. First of all, because I actually had the Nuclear Command and Control organization among me because I was the Director of Command and Control in Communications of the Joint Staff, I was the prime director for it, you just didn't talk about it. There are just things you don't talk about and that happened to be one of them. You don't talk about your Nuclear Command and Control at all. It's just not discussed. But what that showed me was a simple pattern. And the pattern she set is that she doesn't necessarily care about security. She didn't care about making a comment like that. She didn't care about an unsecured server in the basement of her home. And she had the, candidly, audacity to talk about cyber, when you've got an unsecured server you are just asking for anybody in the world to come hit it. So to me, when she says things like that it sets up a cavalier attitude towards security that's quite bothersome.
SJ: Also, General Kellogg, as Candidate Trump's Foreign Policy Advisor, um, your opposition has said that Mr. Trump does not have a plan, and does not at least say what his plans are when we're talking about either Russia or ISIS. Can you speak as his FPA and at least give voters here in Washoe County an idea of what you're telling Candidate Trump.
Gen. Kellogg: I can, I will say, um, speaking for me instead of speaking for him -- and we've gone in and we've talked about all of that. And one of the things we've told him to do was 'keep your options to yourself going forward. And rely on the experts that are out there, to give you good advice, going forward.' And they have out there. His concern is that you just don't telegraph your blows going forward at all. Or telegraph your plan going forward. He will surround himself with incredibly good advisors and good people that can think their way through it. And I think he will come up with an end-state where he wants to go with it. Be it with Russia, or be it with ISIS or anywhere else. When you look at what's been happening the last 4, 8, 12 years they don't, you know, her, Mrs. Clinton doesn't have a plan. If they had a plan, when she was Secretary of State all of this would have been solved a long time ago. They don't have a plan. It's more of the same. And I don't think the American people should want more of the same. I know I don't, because I've got skin in the game. I've got kids in the military as I've said earlier. And I think we owe them to give them a good solution moving forward. So I'm very comfortable about it. I don't think he needs to advertise it. They just need to know that he'll surround himself with very good advisers, and he listens. He listens exceptionally well. And he takes our recommendations. He may not agree with them, which he doesn't a lot of times, which is fine. But we give him our best views.
SJ: What is your experience with Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State what has she done as Secretary of State, in your opionion, that proves she is not the right person for the job.
Gen. Kellogg: Okay, that's a great question. Let's start with Iraq. He was a private citizen, she was a sitting senator. She voted to go into Iraq. Then we had the surge, because General Petraeus needed to have uh more forces to save Baghdad from falling in Anbar Province, she argued against it as a senator. Then when she was Secretary of State the military asked to keep a residual force of between ten and twenty thousand inside Iraq to prevent sectarian violence -- as Secretary of State she couldn't close the deal. Prime Minister al-Maliki set Sunni against Shia in what created what came of that was ISIS. That was one thing she did as Secretary of State. Secondly, she set the red reset button with Foreign Minister Lavrov. She said this is a new step in Russian-US relations. What she really set the red button to do was to go back to Cold War 2.0. After, as Secretary of State, she pushed the red reset button they took Crimea. They invaded Ukraine and they are now very very strong in the Middle East. As Secretary of State she argued about going into Libya. Um, our military said 'That's not a smart idea,' and President Obama said that is now 'the worst foreign policy decision' he's ever made. She pushed that, to go into Libya, we destabilized Libya, ISIS is now in Libya. When you look at Syria, she was Secretary of State when we drew the red line. Red line meaning, if Assad used chemical weapons against his people, that was the red line to be crossed. She was Secretary of State when it was drawn. He used Sarin Gas against civillian populations, we did nothing. She had the gall to, uh, during the debates say to talk about Syria and what was happening in Aleppo. And she was directly involved in that, in not doing anything in Syria. She supported the Muslim Brotherhood when they overthrew Mubarak. When she was Secretary of State she thought Mubarak was a friend of ours. She destabilized Egypt and it took Al-Sisi, and now president Al-Sisi to come in and restore the situation. We could go on and on and on. She is an architect of failure as Secretary of State. And that is easily checked, when she says 'fact check it,' easily to be fact checked going forward. And we could go on about that.
SJ: And you bring up Aleppo. And then our relations right now with Russia. And if you read at least news-um-papers from across the pond, they say that World War 3 is imminent. Do you see that as imminent. And do you see a President Trump preventing a Cold War Three, or a, World War Three.
Gen. Kellogg: Well, I do. Because I think that there's a relationship there. Whether you like the Russians or not, the fact is, they are a global nuclear power. With global presence. And they are very strong in the Middle East. For years, we considered the Middle East our area in intensive control. And they moved in there, and we did nothing. She is the one who tried to reset relations with Russia, and they went downhill. Putin does not respect her, I mean, it's very clear what he has done and what he's doing in Syria. Here's a great example. The Russians and the Americans have had eight cease-fires in Syria in the last month and a half. They've violated each one of them. They've put major air-defense systems in place to prevent anybody from interfering with what they're doing in Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria. I think he (Trump) can negotiate with him (Putin.) I think he's (Trump is) a master negotiator. He could sit down and talk with him, uh, from mutual respect going forward. I mean, we're already in Cold War 2.0 and she's the one who set it up. So I don't think she's the one to set us to step back from that. I don't think the trust is there, and I don't think the respect is there. And I think what a President Trump would do is reset the conditions working with Russia.
SJ: Okay, and I have to ask because it is in the minstream media. That Russia, Americans have said, is behind the hacking and is trying to influence our presidential race. What is it that you have to say about that?
Gen. Kellogg: Uh, I, we have to be very, very careful about it because I was involved, as I said, in the Joint Staff when I was Director of Command and Control and when you're talking about cyber you can never pin it down. They haven't said 'the Russians did it.' They said that they believe an organization 'like the Russians,' because you never want to pin it down because you're never absolutely sure who is going to do it and who has done it out there. Going forward with the Russians -- it could have been the Chinese. It could've been the Russians. It could've been anybody who's a really a very good hacker. Going forward. I, as, influencing our election it's almost impossible. There's only five states that's got digital uh, balloting, going forward. When you look at certain states like Colorado, Colorado is a pure paper state going forward. So, when people talk like that I think it's a little bit of fear-mongering and creating some hysteria. That's not true at all. Now, do major powers have the ability to hack? Of course they do. Much like we have the same capability to do so if we ever wanted to do it. So, I think you have to sit back and look at it and kinda 'nah, that sounds good' and it sounds like they're really involved but it's a little bit of hysteria simply because with the way the systems are with our nation and voting, it's virtually impossible. Here in Virginia, it'd be impossible to do it. And like I said in Colorado as well. But I think we have to be very careful when we talk about who is involved with it, and pinning it down. You know, if you're talking about, if you're accusing another world power of creating cyber warfare - you can expect some very, very difficult circumstances in the future because cyber is one of those it's almost, it's not kinetic. It's done through ones and zeroes. It's done over the air. and it's very hard to to pin down who's done it and to defend against it.
SJ: And General Kellogg last question, how important is our little county, Washoe County in this vast and historic presidential election.
Gen. Kellogg: You know, I think you're very important. Because if I looked at the numbers, and I try to look as many as I could out there. It's kind of, You're almost triple-spread between Republicans, Democrats and independents out there. And I think it's important because, it's like any place else -- Nevada is going to be a critical state out there. It's a battleground state and every vote is going to count going forward. and like I said at the top, just sit back and think real hard where you want to go in this election. Clear your mind of what you've heard over the TV and what you read about, and think about you as an American and going forward what it means. And I think it's critical. It's going to be a critical vote out there and just ask people to sit back and think of the future.
SJ: Okay, General Keith Kellogg, Foreign Policy Advisor for Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump, thank you for your time this morning.
Gen. Kellogg: Thank you.