Rep. Robert Pittenger: Trump's a diamond -- with many rough edges. There's nothing fake about him

While political elites resoundingly condemn President Trump for his reported comment on “s---hole countries,” let’s pause to take a careful look at context and truth.

In 2016, I visited Congo-Brazzaville on a Congressional Delegation seeking assistance on efforts to block terrorism financing. We met with President Denis Sassou Nguesso at his palatial estate, where he greeted us dressed immaculately in his Armani suit and alligator shoes. The contrast was repugnant to me as I considered his impoverished country that has been exploited and abused by this despot for decades.

We received no helpful assistance from our meetings with him regarding terror financing issues, nor through subsequent attempts for information. Meanwhile, I am aware that the United States sends foreign aid to his country amounting to $90 million annually.  It’s outrageous.

President Trump’s comment clearly offended many individuals, but was he referring to the poor and exploited people in the respective countries or the governments ruled by tyrants and despots who have pilfered our aid and extracted their country’s resources to fund their lavish lifestyle?

The American people elected a street fighter from Queens who will fight every day in their behalf, unfazed by the elites, whose elegant diplomatic discourse has resulted in a world replete with national security threats and challenges.

President Trump’s tweets and unvarnished comments are direct and not the conventional diplomatic discourse. 

For me, the president is a diamond with many rough edges. He is the real thing, not a fake cubic zirconia. The American people elected a street fighter from Queens who will fight every day in their behalf, unfazed by the elites, whose elegant diplomatic discourse has resulted in a world replete with national security threats and challenges.

The chorus of the pundit class has also repeatedly condemned President Trump’s tweets. 

Contrary to the claims of these Brahmins of the Beltway, President Trump has demonstrated a keen sense of the mindset of hardworking Americans, as well as of our adversaries. The guardians of “correct” diplomatic discourse are in denial of their own inept failures, as their “correct” dialogue allowed adversarial nation states to grow from garden snakes to boa constrictors. 

Members of the political elite also abhorred Ronald Reagan’s reference to the Soviet Union as an “evil empire.” They scorned him when he walked away from arms reduction negotiations in Reykjavik over his refusal to give up missile defense. Yet ultimately, Gorbachev accepted Reagan’s terms, and just a few years later, the Soviet Union collapsed without firing a shot, thanks to Reagan’s clear understanding and resolute spirit. Where would we be today without missile defense?

Winston Churchill was ridiculed and renounced by Neville Chamberlain and his “peace for our time” disciples for calling out Hitler as “a monster of wickedness, insatiable in his lust for blood and plunder.” Great Britain and Western Civilization were spared dominion by Nazi Germany through Churchill’s unequivocal oratory and leadership. 

In the moment of these statements, polite society disparaged these comments as dangerous, harmful, and self-defeating.  However, in time and history, the political class was proven to be all that they accused these great leaders to be.

Those elites, refined, well-bred, sophisticated, and educated by the finest prep schools and academic institutions, have been taught the proper way for discourse. Yet the outcome of this “proper” discourse has brought the most difficult and challenging threats ever to our national security.

President Obama and many of the same voices at Foggy Bottom refused to accurately name our enemy when speaking about radical Islamic terrorists, because they were afraid of offending terrorists and those aligned with their cause.

President Trump knew better.

Having been told by the elites that he had forever offended the Muslim world during the campaign, the elected President was unabashed and unchanged. Notwithstanding the restrictive norms clouding the clarity of U.S. foreign policy, he saw the problem for what it was and successfully convened 55 Arab and Muslim countries in Riyadh. Following decisive military actions, ISIS has been tactically defeated and their territory shrunk exponentially.

In perhaps the most shameful example of “ends justifies the means” diplomacy, a ten-year, multi-agency effort to prosecute a Hezbollah money laundering and drug trafficking ring was stonewalled by the Obama administration so as not to offend Iran during negotiations on the nuclear deal. Meanwhile, the resulting deal pushed by President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry will allow Iran to legally pursue their nuclear weapon and missile development goals within a very short decade.  Pictures flooded the news of Secretary Kerry in his warm embrace of Iranian officials, who stealthily seized the moment.

As well, North Korea has diplomatically snookered the U.S. for several decades, garnering hundreds of millions of dollars for the regime, while they starved their people and continued to develop nuclear and ICBM capabilities. 

Let these “acceptable” communications stylists be silenced. Their noble ways have set the opportunity for America to be exploited and our security threatened.

President Trump has a clear understanding of our adversaries and knows how to speak to them in a way they understand.

The President was certainly underestimated in his communication to the American people as he defeated a tidal wave of political elites. Frankly, the biggest issue the intelligentsia appear to have with President Trump is that he refuses to sugar coat the obvious.

Mr. President, many thoughtful Americans trust your instincts as you send direct, clear messages to the world.  Your track record in business, media, politics, and directing a reinvigorated economy deserves a great deal of respect as you work with your exceptional diplomatic and military advisors to clearly stake out American interests and secure our country.

Republican Robert Pittenger represents North Carolina's 9th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He serves as chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, Vice Chairman of the Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing, and is a member of the House Financial Services Committee.