The president is in Brussels, Belgium for the NATO summit. The summit comes on the heels of the president’s disastrous behavior last month at the G7 summit in Canada. A “family photo” taken of the NATO leaders is a perfect illustration of the extreme tension and opposition to the alliance from the President of the United States.
The president can be seen in the photo looking in the opposite direction of all the other leaders. His presence at the summit has proven contrary from the start. He kicked off the summit by unleashing insults on America’s allies and on the alliance as a whole. Before the official start of the NATO summit, Trump joined other leaders for breakfast. As cameras rolled and the table sat in front of glasses of orange juice, Trump went on a tirade.
Trump’s breakfast tirade took particular aim at Germany. The president claimed that Germany is “totally controlled by Russia.” He said that Germany is “a captive of Russia” because of a natural gas pipeline between the two countries.
Trump also railed against NATO allies who he claimed are “delinquent” in supporting NATO financially. Of course, that is a mischaracterization of the alliance. The United States does not pay into NATO and neither do other member nations. Instead, all nations agreed to dedicate 2% of their individual GDP for defense spending in their own nation. The countries are expected to accomplish this measure by 2028.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel responded to the president’s rant without mentioning his name. She said, “Because of given circumstances I want to point out one thing: I experienced the Soviet occupation of one part of Germany myself. It is good that we are independent today.”
Merkel also addressed the president’s claim that allies do not pay their fair share. She said, “Germany contributes a lot.” She pointed out that Germany has been involved in NATO operations in Afganistan which began in response to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. She said that Germany had been involved in Afghanistan “for many years.” She continued, “We are willing to increase our defense spending as agreed in Wales. By 2028, we will have increased spending by 28 percent since 2014. Given those facts, I confidently join this summit.”
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