Earlier, Trump said that he had “great confidence” in Stoltenberg, and gave him credit for working to deal with the “unfair burden” he said was being footed by the U.S.
The line of argument is nothing new for Trump: it’s been his most consistent criticism of traditional American allies and one that he made both at a campaign rally in Montana last week and in Washington just before he departed for his trip to Europe.
But the message may land a differently — a little more directly — now that he is in Brussels and meeting face-to-face with the leaders of NATO nations.
Trump has turned decades of American diplomacy on its head, former U.S. ambassador to NATO Nicholas Burns said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Wednesday.
“It’s just infuriating to watch this happen,” Burns said. “You cannot imagine any American president all the way back 75 years deciding to become the critic-in-chief of NATO. I mean, it’s Orwellian. He’s making our friends out to be our enemies and he’s treating our enemies, like Putin, as our friends.”
While Trump didn’t mention Merkel by name Wednesday, they clashed at last month’s G-7 summit, and he later took a swipe at her on Twitter — wrongly stating that crime was rising in her country because of mass migration.
He also referred to Merkel at the Montana event, saying: “I don’t know how much protection we get by protecting you.”
The president’s ambassador to NATO, former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, said last week that the goal of the summit is to project unity. But Trump’s demands, and his criticism of Germany, threaten that outcome.
Laura Rosenberger, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund and a foreign policy adviser to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, told NBC News that Trump is only helping Russia by exposing and creating fissures within NATO.
“While concerns about Nord Stream 2 are real, accusing Germany of being captive to Russia is patently false — and frankly feels like a bit of projection coming from Trump,” Rosenberger said. “But more broadly, the fact that he chose to start off the summit’s events by attacking one of our allies, instead of stressing our unity … is itself a win for Putin.”
Article Source : https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/trump-blasts-nato-allies-says-germany-captive-russia-n890471?cid=public-rss_20180711