Coons: ‘Exactly the wrong time’ for State Dept cuts

Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsOil companies join blitz for carbon tax Mnuchin says carbon capture tax credit guidance will be out soon Mnuchin signals administration won't comply with subpoena for Trump tax returns MORE (D-Del.) said Monday that President Trump's proposed cuts to the State Department would be a mistake in the wake of North Korean aggression and last week’s strikes against Syrian government forces. 

“Again, this is exactly the wrong time to significantly cut our investment in diplomacy,” Coons told CNN’s “New Day.” 

The budget proposal put forward by the Trump administration last month included significant State cuts, including to foreign aid programs.

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Coons, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, noted that Trump was hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping the night he ordered the missile strike against a Syrian airfield.

“I think the major audience that Trump had in mind for his missile strike was sitting right next to him this weekend at Mar-a-Lago,” Coons said.

Trump administration officials have been in discussions with their Chinese counterparts over how to counter North Korean aggression.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson last month met with the Chinese foreign minister for talks about Pyongyang's nuclear program.