Washington Free Beacon editor in chief Matthew Continetti said Friday on Fox News that the impact of President Donald Trump's new Cuba policy has been overstated, emphasizing that it is mostly focused on defunding the repressive Castro regime's military.
Trump is expected on Friday to announce a reversal of of the more lenient policy that the Obama administration pursued towards Cuba, with the White House planning to get tougher on the Castro regime.
Ben Rhodes, a top foreign policy adviser and speech writer to former President Barack Obama, tweeted in response to the expected policy move, "I'm sorry for the Cubans who will be hurt by a mean spirited policy thats [sic] about keeping a political promise to a few people at their expense."
I'm sorry for the Cubans who will be hurt by a mean spirited policy thats about keeping a political promise to a few people at their expense
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) June 16, 2017
Continetti was asked about Rhodes' tweet, and the shift in Trump's Cuba policy more broadly.
"I suppose Ben Rhodes is happy that a lot of the money then is going to the Cuban military because that's exactly what the Trump policy is trying to address," Continetti said to host Shannon Bream on "America's Newsroom."
"I actually think a lot of the reports on the Trump-Cuba policy have kind of overstated the impact," Continetti continued. "When you get to the nitty-gritty, Shannon, it seems that this may affect some travel. But overall, people who want to use AirBnB, for example, with a visit to Havana and such, they won't be affected. The real issue here is trying to limit the profits the Castro regime and its military make off of the Cuban people, which remain a captive population."
Continetti also discussed Thursday's report from the Washington Post that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election had expanded to include the business ties of Jared Kushner, a White House adviser and Trump's son-in-law.
Continetti was critical of the move by Mueller.
"It's exactly what Trump officials and many congressional Republicans were worried about, Shannon, when they urged against the appointment of a special counsel," he said. "That was taken out of their hands after the president fired Jim Comey. Comey released his memos under his own admission with the express purpose of having a special counsel appointed. Then Deputy [Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller."
"Now they have a special counsel office that has little oversight," Continetti added. "It is, in many cases, in these counsels you find that they range far and wide from what they are initially supposed to investigate, which in this case was a charge of collusion with Russia, for which no evidence has been found."