Trump's UN speech: How a former top George W. Bush adviser reacted

A top former George W. Bush adviser, Fran Townsend, thinks the language used in President Trump's UN speech may have been effective, if stylistically untraditional, though she did object to one phrase in his address.

"I don't think it's a great example by the president," to call people names like 'Rocket Man,'" Townsend said on the latest episode of "The Takeout." "But he really has to determine what he thinks is the most effective course, and we can judge the results. I think we don't know that yet."

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Townsend, who was Bush's Homeland Security adviser, is now an executive vice president at the firm MacAandrews & Forbes in New York City, as well as CBS News' Senior National Security Analyst. Earlier this year, President Trump also considered Townsend to be FBI director after he fired James Comey

While most of the coverage of the president's speech dealt with his threat to destroy North Korea and almost equally tough language about Iran and the nuclear deal, Townsend still found much of the speech to be similar thematically to past U.N. speeches.

"He's talking about the Marshall plan, he's talking about the role of international bodies," she said of the president's address. "He's talking about the strength of freedom and democracy and open societies, about governments who serve their people and not oppress them. This was kind of bread-and-butter traditional foreign policy."

She argued the ideas Mr. Trump expressed have deep roots in U.S. foreign policy.

"He's expressing a frustration that's a historical one across Republican and Democratic presidents and Congresses, by the way, so I think he was right to challenge them."

Over yogurt, toast, bagels and coffee in her office conference room, Townsend also discussed the implications of withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, and what it means to be "America First."

For more from Major and Steve's conversation with Townsend, download "The Takeout" podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcher, or Spotify. New episodes are available every Friday morning.

Also, you can watch "The Takeout" on CBSN Friday and Saturday nights at 9pm ET/PT. For a full archive of "The Takeout" episodes, visit

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Producers: Arden Farhi, Katiana Krawchenko