WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump “does not make up things”, a top presidential advisor said on Tuesday when asked about a question on his stunning claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him to mediate on the Kashmir issue, remarks which has been strongly refuted by India.
It is “a very rude question,” Trump’s Chief Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow told reporters at the White House when a journalist following up on the president’s remarks asked if it was made up.
“The President does not make anything up. That’s a very rude question in my opinion. I am going to stay out of that. It’s outside of my lane. It’s for Mr (National Security Advisor John) Bolton, Mr (Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo and President, so I am not going to comment on that. President does not make things up,” Kudlow said.
However, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns, who played a key role in India-US civil nuclear deal during the Bush Administration, said, “This is embarrassing, to say the least, for President Trump. His claim that PM Modi asked him to mediate the Kashmir conflict denied categorically by Delhi. This is what happens in diplomacy when you make things up.”
A day earlier, Trump offered to be the “mediator” between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue as he met Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White House.
Trump, who is known to make inaccurate statements, claimed that Prime Minister Modi asked him to mediate on Kashmir when they met in Osaka, Japan on the sidelines of the G20 Summit last month.
India has not been engaging with Pakistan since an attack on the Air Force base at Pathankot in January of 2016 by Pakistan-based terrorists, maintaining that talks and terror cannot go together.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar refuted that Prime Minister Modi ever made that request.
“I would like to categorically assure the House that no such request has been made by the Prime Minister to the US President. I repeat, no such request was made by the Prime Minister to the US President,” he said in a statement to the Parliament.