There’s a new sheriff in town…and he’s not exactly cutting an impressive figure.
At least, that’s the opinion Jesse Watters had of Biden’s performance at the NATO summit in Brussels. On Thursday night’s episode of his program “Jesse Watters Primetime,” Watters contrasted Biden’s dismal showing at the summit with Trump’s much more energetic and decisive body language when he appeared at a NATO summit in May of 2017.
Watters: Compare that with how Trump worked the room at the NATO summit in 2017. Remember he pushed the President of Montenegro out of the way so he could be up front and center on stage leading? Everybody knew there he was in charge pic.twitter.com/MORdKKDDfo
— Acyn (@Acyn) March 24, 2022
“This administration is a disaster,” Watters remarked in the segment. “[Biden’s] wandering around Brussels with a big smile on his face, like he’s at Disney World. Compare that with how Trump worked the room at the NATO summit in 2017. Remember, he pushed the president of Montenegro out of the way so he could be upfront and center on stage, leading? Everybody knew there, he was in charge. Not Joe Biden—he’s not acting like a leader. He’s acting like a senator, and it is time for him to realize that he’s president.”
The incident caused something of a stir at the time, with the usual suspects hyperventilating about how it elicited indignation in the Balkans, and even devoted time and energy to “break down” Trump’s “shove.” Dusko Marcovic, the prime minister of Montenegro at the time, was attending the summit as Montenegro’s first representative since the country’s admission to the defensive organization.
Watching the footage, it’s pretty clear that Trump meant no offense. Instead, as Watters observed in his segment, it appears Trump’s intention was to project strength and to communicate that the United States—unquestionably the senior partner in NATO and the organization’s ultimate military backstop—was not leading from behind.
Awkward moment when Pres. Trump appears to push the Prime Minister of Montenegro out of the way at NATO conference. https://t.co/GKrsujUUr8 pic.twitter.com/PSc8dkIDBV
— ABC News (@ABC) May 25, 2017
It’s instructive to contrast Trump’s performance in 2017 with Biden’s appearance at Thursday’s NATO summit. The president projected anything but strength and decisiveness.
“Joe Biden is there to meet with NATO leaders and show strength,” Jesse Watters observed, “as Russia massacres innocent civilians and flattens whole cities. And he did the opposite.” During a press conference at the summit, Biden was asked about how the U.S. and NATO might respond if Russia used chemical weapons in the Ukraine conflict.
“We would respond,” Biden replied, “we would respond if he uses it. The nature of the response would depend on the nature of the use.” It wasn’t exactly a forceful rebuke of Russia’s possible escalation of the war, at a time when there’s already been irresponsible talk out of Russia about the use of nuclear weapons.
Perhaps sensing it was time to show some leadership amidst its absence, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg put Russia on notice at a news conference on Wednesday.
“Russia should stop this dangerous irresponsible nuclear rhetoric,” he said. “But let there be no doubt about our readiness to protect and defend allies against any threat anytime. Russia must understand that it can never win a nuclear war.”
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