White House trade adviser Peter Navarro argues former National Security Adviser John Bolton focused most of his attention on Iran instead of holding China accountable for human rights violations, information warfare and trade.
“My comments have been taken wildly out of context. They had nothing at all to do with the Phase I trade deal, which continues in place. I was simply speaking to the lack of trust we now have of the Chinese Communist Party after they lied about the origins of the China virus and foisted a pandemic upon the world” said Navarro in a statement.
Earlier during an interview with Fox News host Martha MacCallum, Navarro said, “It’s over…They came here on January 15th to sign that trade deal, and that was a full two months after they knew the virus was out and about” he noted.
Dow futures fell over 400 points around 9:40 PM ET before cutting the bulk of those losses, while Nasdaq futures slipped nearly 1 percent, before bouncing back.
The tech-heavy index registered its 20th record of the year during Monday’s trading session powered by stocks including Apple, Amazon, Microsoft.
President Trump also tweeted his own clarification Monday evening.
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Navarro’s comments followed critical remarks from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, just hours before, over China’s handling of the pandemic and the potential of further action against the country.
“I think there is energy. I would start with Secretary [Mike] Pompeo when he had his most recent meeting, was very clear in, ‘We need answers,’” Mnuchin told FOX Business’ Lou Dobbs.
“It’s not acceptable that China hasn’t opened up, hasn’t been forthright with what’s gone on with this disease. And there’s no question, the disease started there. How did it spread through the rest of the world, and it didn’t spread through China? That’s what we want to know” he stated.
FOX Business’ Blake Burman contributed to this report.