WASHINGTON (AP) – House Speaker Paul Ryan is defending President-elect Donald Trump’s phone conversation with the Taiwanese president, calling it “much ado about nothing.”
The Taiwanese president called Trump last Friday.
Ryan told reporters Tuesday that it is “prudent” for Trump to accept congratulatory phone calls. Ryan says he himself spoke to President Tsai Ing-wen two months ago.
Ryan says not taking the call would be “considered a snub.”
Taiwan split from China in 1949, but China still considers the island part of its territory and would consider it unacceptable for the U.S. to recognize Taiwan’s leader as a head of state.
Trump advisers have made conflicting statements about whether the call was a congratulatory conversation or a signal of a new policy toward China.