Donald Trump is not one to mince words.
Even with a powerful world leader visiting, the President didn’t waste time pointing out that taking care of America and America’s interests always comes first.
Amidst a visit with German Chancellor Anglea Merkel, Trump tweeted that it was a great meeting, but reminded the world that the NATO partner is still giving the Cold-War-era defense body the short shrift.
Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Nevertheless, Germany owes…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2017
Trump has long criticized NATO as an archaic organization. Bloomberg writes:
“[NATO] is obsolete, first because it was designed many, many years ago,” Bild quoted Trump as saying about the trans-Atlantic military alliance. “Secondly, countries aren’t paying what they should” and NATO “didn’t deal with terrorism.”
While those comments expanded on doubts Trump raised about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization during his campaign, he reserved some of his most dismissive remarks for the EU and Merkel, whose open-border refugee policy he called a “catastrophic mistake.”
And Trump is right. Most of NATO’s members have been vastly underfunding their two-percent commitment to funding NATO, including Germany. In fact, including the United States, only Greece, the U.K., Poland and Estonia have met their commitment to funding NATO.
Vice President Mike Pence expounded on this, pointing out that failure to meet the commitment to funding the treaty “erodes the very foundation of our alliance.”
“Let me be clear on this point: The president of the United States expects our allies to keep their word, to fulfill this commitment and, for most, that means the time has come to do more,” Pence said.
This is something that Barack Obama would never do. Calling truth to power, looking our foreign allies in the eye and telling them when they’re dropping the ball.
It’s a new, refreshing day in the White House.
Maybe that’s why the president wasn’t interested in a handshake.
— POLITICO (@politico) March 17, 2017