Former NATO Ambassador Nicholas Burns on Trump’s ‘Infuriating’ Breakfast Tirade: ‘It’s Diplomatic Malpractice’
Former NATO Ambassador Nicholas Burns blasted President Trump on Wednesday for haranguing the defensive alliance.
Trump’s Twitter activity from the last few days made it clear that his meetings with America’s allies had a good chance of taking an antagonistic turn. The president was always likely to call on member nations to increase their contributions to NATO’s funding, and during a photo-op breakfast today, he went on a diatribe while slamming “delinquent” countries for not paying up.
Burns was not impressed.
“Frankly, it’s just infuriating to watch this happen. 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 treating our enemies, like Putin, as our friends, and he’s misrepresenting the facts. There have been four straight years of budget increases by every NATO ally. The great majority of them will be at this magical 2% of gross domestic product level by 2024. All of our ability to project power in the world, in the Middle East and Afghanistan comes out of the air bases, the naval bases in Italy and Spain that the Europeans pay us for. They pay us $2.5 billion a year to keep our forces there. It would cost us more money to bring the troops home than to keep them in Europe. So what is the point of this? It’s all about politics, and the president’s base, not about the power of the United States. This incredible alliance that we’ve built, every president from Truman, it’s infuriating to see this happen. It’s diplomatic malpractice.”
Watch above, via MSNBC.
[Image via screengrab]
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