Awkward moment when Trump pushes a prime minister at NATO conference
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 28, 2017,
May 28, 2017, 16:39
It's one thing to fund your military.
Climate change is another bone of contention, however. It's also an organization that uses plenty of USA taxpayer dollars.
The Nato military alliance - which Trump on the campaign trail dismissed as "obsolete" for focusing on Russian Federation instead of terrorism - is set to bow to his demands that it formally join the US-led coalition against IS. He said the president intends to make a final call on the Paris Agreement after assessing his discussions with G7 leaders this weekend.
He voiced his long held concern that alliance members are not paying enough. But recent decades have seen unparalleled prosperity across Europe.
"We have heard President Trump before being very blunt on the message of fair burden sharing", Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said after the meeting.
None of this is really controversial.
During a private dinner Thursday night, the 28 members, plus soon-to-join Montenegro, renewed an old pledge to move toward the 2 percent by 2024 - a move the White House touted as a sign of Trump's influence. The battleships, war planes, missiles and potential pool of more than 3 million personnel are owned and brought to the range by the 28 member states, mostly at their own cost.
"This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States, and many of these nations owe massive amounts of money from past years and not paying in those past years", declared the USA commander-in-chief. He didn't appear to have offered even as much as an "excuse me" to Markovic.
"Two percent is the bare minimum for confronting today's very real and very vicious threats", Trump said.
The American media, of course, have had a field day focusing on making Trump seem ridiculous, rather than focusing on substantive issues.
You get the picture.
President Donald Trump shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron during a meeting at the U.S. Embassy, Thursday, May 25, 2017, in Brussels. We're launching a newsletter to explore just that. This is an alliance, after all.
The president's remarkable public scolding of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation came amid a backdrop of uncertainty in Brussels toward Trump over his past comments publicly cheering the United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union last summer and slamming the alliance during his transition as "a vehicle for Germany". Thankfully, Ronald Reagan saw to that.
"The recent attack on Manchester in the United Kingdom demonstrates the depths of the evil we face with terrorism".
Last year, Trump threatened to abandon U.S. allies in Europe if they did not spend enough on defense, comments that were particularly unnerving for the ex-Soviet Baltic states on Russia's border which fear Moscow might try a repeat of its 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea.
Cohn said climate change also featured prominently in Trump's meeting with Belgian leaders the day before, as well as almost all of the bilateral meetings he's held.
If so, we wonder how the USA media would report that?