Amid #NoHandshakeGate and the "we have something in common" moment, yesterday's meeting between President Trump and German Chancellor Merkel was at best cordial, judging by the G-20 discussions, and this latest tweet from Trump...
Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Nevertheless, Germany owes.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2017
...vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2017
Of course this is not the first time he has pointed this out... NATO, he said, “has problems.”
“[NATO] is obsolete, first because it was designed many, many years ago,” Bild quoted Trump as saying about the trans-Atlantic military alliance. “Secondly, countries aren’t paying what they should” and NATO “didn’t deal with terrorism.”
While those comments expanded on doubts Trump raised about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization during his campaign, he reserved some of his most dismissive remarks for the EU and Merkel, whose open-border refugee policy he called a “catastrophic mistake.”
FACT CHECK: Trump is 100% Correct - Germany has been under-funding its defense budget for years... NATO's 28-member countries committed in 2014 to spending 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense within a decade. But only the U.S. and four other members of the post-World War II military coalition are meeting the standard, Pence said.
Failure to meet the commitment, he said, "erodes the very foundation of our alliance."
"Let me be clear on this point: The president of the United States expects our allies to keep their word, to fulfill this commitment and, for most, that means the time has come to do more," Pence said.
More awkward looks to come...