Stewart sits down with St. George News, discusses Anti-Socialism Caucus, Mueller report, China

ST. GEORGE U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart met with St. George News at his area office Monday and shared his thoughts on his creation of an anti-socialism caucus in the House of Representatives, the recent conclusion of the Mueller report and the rising influence of China and the country’s push to be the “lone superpower.”

Anti-Socialism Caucus

In addition to Monday’s interview, the Republican Congressman previously spoke about the pending creation of the Anti-Socialism Caucus in the House during a February town hall meeting in St. George.

Read more: Stewart denounces socialism, defends criticism of Trump’s emergency order during town hall

The purpose of the caucus, he said, is to inform lawmakers and the public about the dangers of socialism.

There’s been a “powerful reaction” to the caucus, Stewart said Monday.

“We intended to start this caucus just for Congress, then eventually for the Senate,” he said, adding he’s been contacted by people from across the county who want to create the caucus in their own states.

“We need to create a national organization. We’re touching a nerve.”

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., featured in this Jan. 27, 2019, file photo, is among members of Congress who promote policies like the Green New Deal that Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah considers socialistic and a threat to American freedom and prosperity. | File photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP, St. George News

Stewart has heavily denounced socialism as a flawed and failed policy that has “driven countries to absolute poverty and destruction.”

No matter how good-willed some people backing the implementation of socialist policies in the United States may be, it’s not going to change the final, freedom-diminishing outcome, he said.

“We have to educate people, and remind people, that don’t understand what a destructive thing that would be for our children.”

Stewart also pointed to the Green New Deal as being “socialist through and through,” claiming it would take away choices and freedoms Americans currently enjoy.

“It compels the federal government to be very involved in peoples’ lives,” he said.

He also spoke against the policy of Medicare for All, which he said would outlaw private insurance and makes medical practitioners employees of the state as the federal government would be the only entity paying the bills.

During the town hall, Stewart said he would fight until the day he died to make sure the United States did not become a socialist country.

The Mueller report

The investigation into whether members of President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election recently concluded, and authorities have announced that a redacted version of the report will be published Thursday.

The investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller lasted two years with its finding summarized in a four-page memo that concluded there was no evidence of collusion – something that Stewart said didn’t surprise him at all.

In this June 13, 2013 file photo, FBI Director Robert Mueller is sworn in on Capitol Hill in Washington prior to testifying before the House Judiciary Committee as it holds an oversight hearing on the FBI. | Associated Press photo by J. Scott Applewhite, St. George News

The House Intelligence Committee had conducted its own “very serious and very thorough investigation” over 15 months that included hundreds of witnesses and the examination of over 350,000 documents, Stewart said. The committee’s investigation came back negative on evidence supporting collusion.

Read more: Protesters in downtown St. George demand release of Mueller report

“I’ve been saying for over a year that Mr. Mueller won’t find evidence of conspiracy or collusion,” he said. “I’ve always been fairly confident that the special counsel wasn’t going to find something that we couldn’t find.”

As for the redactions expected to come with the report, Stewart said that was being done to protect sensitive information where appropriate and required by law.

China’s push for superpower

“There’s nearly a unanimous agreement that China is the most dangerous threat facing our country now,” Stewart said, echoing the opinion Sen. Mitt Romney shared on China in a recent town hall meeting.

Read more: Sen. Romney talks border security, China during first town hall in St. George

China aims to become the planet’s lone superpower by 2048, Stewart said, and pointed to China’s Belt and Road Initiative as a part of that plan.

The initiative creates a transcontinental network across parts of Asia, Africa and Europe that includes the creation of new highways and rail systems, sea ports for international shipping and communications systems.

In this March 8, 2019, photo, trucks move at a container port in Qingdao in eastern China’s Shandong Province. | Photo by Chinatopix via AP, St. George News

According to The World Bank, the initiative “aims to strengthen infrastructure, trade, and investment links between China and some 65 other countries that account collectively for over 30 percent of global GDP, 62 percent of population, and 75 percent of known energy reserves.”

China is not a trustworthy business partner, Stewart said, and mentioned a small nation in Africa where the Chinese have a military base and claimed the Chinese were using their influence to usurp that country’s sovereignty.

“We’re trying to help other nations realize that China can make you a lot of promises and can make you feel like they’re going to make you rich, but it hasn’t turned out that way for most of (those nations).”

There is also an effort by Daniel Coats, the U.S. national intelligence director, to meet with business leaders and executives concerning business relations with China. The effort includes taking those individuals into a confidential briefing touching on why China cannot be trusted and why it poses a threat to the future of the United States.

“They have very definitive goals and ambitions,” Stewart said of the Chinese.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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