Rep. Lynch concerned over foreign policy 'hotspots'

U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, who has worked on U.S. foreign and military policy in his 15 years in Congress, is concerned that the hoopla around President Donald Trump could be overshadowing serious global issues like rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Appearing Sunday on WCVB's "On the Record," the South Boston Democrat was asked if he is worried that all the attention paid to Trump and his Twitter account is taking away from a public discussion of the situation with North Korea or other hotspots around the world.

"The hotspots around the globe, there are probably six to eight, they're not going away and I'm not sure the president is making any concentrated effort to develop a coherent approach to any one of them, including North Korea," Lynch, the ranking Democrat on the U.S. House's Subcommittee on National Security, said. "Yeah, it concerns me greatly."

The issue with North Korea, Lynch said, is complicated by the fact that the U.S. has troops stationed in South Korea and that so many American allies are within the range of North Korean weapons. The North Korean border with China "creates some regional problems for us in that area," Lynch said.

Trump's pick of retired general John Kelly to serve as his second chief of staff slightly allayed Lynch's concerns and the congressman said he and the Brighton native Kelly have gotten to know each other a bit over the years.

"I am happy that the president recently elevated General John Kelly as his chief of staff," Lynch said. "I have greater confidence in John Kelly's ability to make decisions in that vein than I do the president, quite frankly." - Colin A. Young/SHNS