WASHINGTON — The United States is working hard to strike an “appropriate balance” as it navigates the politically sensitive case of Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng who has sought refuge in the US embassy in Beijing.
“We are working very closely with the individuals involved in this,” chief White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan in an interview with Fox News Sunday, although he refused to provide details about the talks, or to say who precisely they were with.
President Barack Obama is attempting a balancing act on US “commitment to human rights, making sure that the people throughout the world have the ability to express themselves freely and openly, but also that we continue to carry out our relationships with key countries overseas,” Brennan said.
Obama, he said, is “going to make sure that we do this in the appropriate way and that appropriate balance is struck.”
Guangcheng, who has been blind since childhood, fled house arrest last Sunday with the help of his supporters from under the noses of dozens of guards, and subsequently recorded a video alleging abuses against him and his family.
China Aid, a group run by the former Tiananmen Square democracy activist Bob Fu, said Saturday it had learned from a “source close to the Chen Guangcheng situation” that the activist was now “under US protection.”
WATCH: Larry Kudlow wilts under barrage of questions about Trump’s conflicting trade war comments
Larry Kudlow, who appeared to have been drinking before his FOX News appearance last Sunday, probably wished he was drinking this Sunday after his stammering performance on CNN where he faced a barrage of questions from "State of the Union" fill-in host Brianna Keilar.
Speaking from France where he is attending the G7 conference with Donald Trump, Kudlow was put on the spot over the president's comments where he seemed to express regret over launching a trade war with China.
Mnuchin begs Chris Wallace: Take the president ‘very literally’ except on being ‘the chosen one’
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin insisted on Sunday that Americans should take President Donald Trump's hyperbolic comments "very literally" -- but he allowed for some exceptions.
During an interview on FOX News Sunday, host Chris Wallace noted that Trump had recently "ordered" companies not to do business with China.
"When the president says something, how seriously, how literally should we take it?" Wallace asked.
"I think most of the time, you should take it very literally," Mnuchin insisted. "I think sometimes he says things that are meant to be a joke."
White House spokesperson ridiculed for ‘pathetic’ spin on Trump’s trade war admission: ‘Does she think we believe that?’
Hours after Donald Trump blithely admitted that he had "second thoughts" about his trade war with China that has damaged the U.S. economy and helped set the stage for a possible recession, White House spokesperson Stephanie Grisham was forced to issue a clarification about the president's comments.
Addressing Trump's G7 response about his tariffs, widely interpreted by the press as expressing some regret, Grisham issued a statement saying the president meant that he wished he had increased his market-destroying tariffs even more.
"The President was asked if he had ‘any second thought on escalating the trade war with China,'" White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham relayed. "His answer has been greatly misinterpreted. President Trump responded in the affirmative - because he regrets not raising the tariffs higher."