President Trump smacked down deadbeat NATO members for demanding U.S. protection against Russia while they continue to bankroll their purported enemy by pouring billions into Russia’s pockets through lucrative oil and gas deals.
“We’re protecting Germany, we’re protecting France,” Trump told NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg at a heated breakfast meeting. “We’re protecting all these countries…And then these countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they’re paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia. So we’re supposed to protect you against Russia, but you’re paying billions of dollars to Russia. I think that’s very inappropriate.”
Trump specifically called out Germany — which cowers in the face of Russia and demands that the U.S. antagonize Vladimir Putin — all while relying on Russia for its energy needs.
Russia is the country that NATO calls the “greatest threat” to its 29-member alliance. NATO is a military alliance whose purpose is to protect Europe from Russia.
“Germany is totally controlled by Russia,” Trump said, referring to Nord Stream 2, Germany’s proposed $12 billion gas pipeline deal with Russia. “I think it’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia.”
Nord Stream 2 strikes at heart of NATO unity. The pipeline gets cheap Russian gas to Germany while bypassing smaller Eastern European nations, allowing Russia to pressure them while Germany is held harmless. No amount of preening in Berlin will cover this nakedly selfish policy.
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) July 11, 2018
Trump continued: “We’re supposed to be guarding against Russia, but Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia.”
NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg meekly countered that NATO is stronger when all its members stand together, but Trump didn’t buy his empty pleas.
“NATO is the alliance of 29 nations, and there’s some disagreements,” Stoltenberg said. “Gas from Russia to Germany is where the allies disagree. Despite the differences, we’ve always been able to protect and defend each other. We’re stronger together than apart.”
Trump clapped back: “How can you ‘be together’ when a country is getting its energy from the person you want protection against? You’re just making Russia richer.”
Trump added: “[The United States] is supposed to protect Germany, but they’re getting their energy from Russia. Explain that. It can’t be explained.”
President Trump noted that previous presidents also complained about NATO members not paying their fair share of the defense spending budget, but they never did anything about it.
Trump suggested that previous presidents (like Barack Obama) were afraid to be confrontational because they cared more about being popular than standing up for American taxpayers.
“This has been brought up by other presidents. But other presidents never did anything about it because I don’t think they wanted to get involved.
I have to bring it up because it’s unfair to our country and our taxpayers. I think these countries have to step it up, not over a 10-year period, but immediately.”
Trump has asked the 28 members of NATO to start paying their fair share for military spending, which is 2 percent of their respective GDPs.
The U.S. pays almost 4% of a much larger GDP, even though the U.S. provides most of the defense. In 2015, United States paid $650 billion, or 73%, of the total NATO defense budget.
The lopsided contributions figures continue to this day.
President Trump is not asking anyone to pay more than 2% of their GDP. He just wants deadbeat NATO members to pay their fair share.
While the mainstream media constantly mock Trump by saying he can be manipulated with flattery, think back to how the international community rewarded Obama with a Nobel Peace Prize in October 2009 — just nine months after he took office.
Was that really because Obama had done anything to ensure world peace? Or was it simply a ploy to flatter him so he’ll continue to have the U.S. foot the bill for moochers who don’t want to meet their financial obligations?
If you’re out to a group dinner and you don’t want to pay your share, buttering-up the biggest fool at the table is a good scam.
If Europe (and its defenders in the US media) don’t like the way Trump is treating them on NATO, they have only themselves to blame. For decades they ignored our “polite” presidents. Their decades-long habit of making empty promises gave rise to Trump. The bill is due.
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) July 11, 2018
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