*Look at their faces* and the whispering as Trump admonishes leaders over NATO financial obligations. pic.twitter.com/gLCYgKTdi3
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) May 25, 2017
As President Trump spoke at NATO HQ today in Brussels, he decided to admonish world leaders on stage, all while remaining conspicuously silent about a central component of the military alliance.
Trump administration officials spoke with The New York Times on Wednesday, where they said that the president’s planned remarks would include a U.S. recommitment to NATO’s Article 5. The provision states that all member nations of the alliance will provide aid and joint defense to an ally who comes under attack.
As he denounced terrorism while speaking about the Manchester Bombing, Trump talked about “the commitments that bind us together.” However, Trump did not explicitly mention Article 5, and he accused the bulk of NATO of being unfair to American taxpayers and not paying enough for collective international defense.
“I have been very, very direct with Secretary Stoltenberg and members of the alliance in saying that NATO members must finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations. But 23 of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they’re supposed to be paying for their defense. This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States, and many of these nations owe massive amounts of money from past years and not paying in those past years.”
Trump’s remarks might not go over well with the leaders of Europe, seeing as many of them looked grim when the TV cameras switched over to them during the speech.
Article 5 has been invoked only once in its existence: in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. For months, international figures have raised questions about whether Trump would commit to the pledge of mutual defense for America’s allies.
Watch above, via MSNBC.
[Image via screengrab]
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