AP FACT CHECK: Pence on Clinton's foreign policy

AP News
Posted: Oct 04, 2016 10:19 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A claim from the vice presidential debate between Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Tim Kaine, and how it stacks up with the facts:

PENCE: She was the "architect of the Obama administration's foreign policy." He said the Middle East is "spinning out of control" and suggested that the ongoing crisis in Syria was the result of a "failed and weak foreign policy that Hillary Clinton helped lead" in the Obama administration." Moreover, he said that that President Barack Obama and Clinton gave Russia room to launch its aggressive moves in Ukraine.

THE FACTS: Clinton pushed for increased U.S. intervention after Syrian President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons against rebels. But Obama is the commander in chief and nothing has swayed him thus far.

On Russia, Clinton as secretary of state helped seal a nuclear arms-control treaty and secure Russia's acquiescence to a NATO-led military intervention in Libya. By comparison, Republican Donald Trump has rung alarm bells in Washington and Europe with his overtures to Russia's authoritarian leader.

Clinton and her supporters say she would be far tougher on Moscow than Trump, whose unusual foreign policy statements include musings about NATO's relevance and suggestions that he could accept Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region.

"You guys love Russia," Kaine said, reminding Pence that he and Trump have praised Russian President Vladimir Putin as a great leader.


Contributed by Associated Press writer Deb Riechmann