‘That’s Not How It Works:’ Trump’s Grasp of Nato Questioned
On the heels of a visibly awkward visit from the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, Donald Trump said on Saturday that Germany owed “vast sums of money” to Nato and the US, even though the alliance does not stipulate payments to America.
His remarks prompted a former US permanent representative to Nato to reply “that’s not how Nato works”, and to add that increased European spending on defense was not a “favor (or payment) to the US”.
Trump, who was at his Mar-a-Lago estate for the weekend and spending the morning at Trump International Golf Course, sent two tweets early in the day. The first denounced “the FAKE NEWS” for what he said was mistaken coverage of a “GREAT” meeting with Merkel.
Trump’s public appearances with Merkel betrayed an awkwardness between the two leaders, including during two widely remarked upon appearances in the White House. In one, the leaders failed to stage a handshake for cameras in the Oval Office, and in another Merkel looked baffled by comments made by Trump during a joint press conference. Before the visit Trump had repeatedly called Merkel’s policies “insane” and a “disaster” for Germany.
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