Jun 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump's national security adviser to hit China in Arizona speech

Robert O'brien

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's national security adviser Robert O'Brien will lambast China's leadership in a speech tomorrow in Arizona, one day after President Trump visits the crucial battleground state to promote his border wall.

What we're hearing: O'Brien's speech "will focus on the challenge presented by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to American values and the values of democratic societies around the world," a senior administration official familiar with his prepared remarks tells Axios.

  • The speech will outline how the Trump administration "has adopted a clear-eyed view of China's long-term intentions to change the way the international system operates, and what this means for Americans," the official added.
  • Gov. Doug Ducey is hosting the event at the Arizona Commerce Authority.

National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot confirmed O'Brien is "giving a major address tomorrow on China in Phoenix."

Don't forget: Trump's political operation is worried about the president's standing in Arizona, as he's been bleeding support from suburbanites. And Trump's entire team — from his national security aides to his political operation — view China as one of the central issues of 2020.

  • Trump's position on China has drawn acute scrutiny in the past few days with the release of a tell-all memoir by his former national security adviser John Bolton.
  • In "The Room Where It Happened," Bolton claims Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to buy farm products to help him get re-elected and that Trump gave Xi a green light to build concentration camps in Xinjiang.
  • Trump has denied both allegations, but he told Axios on Friday that he held off on sanctioning Chinese officials over the Xinjiang camps because doing so would interfere with his trade negotiations with Beijing.
  • Trump won Arizona in 2016, but Joe Biden leads Trump by four percentage points in the latest polling average compiled by Real Clear Politics.
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