Most thinking Americans watched reports of Trump’s first overseas trip as president with horrified embarrassment as he fully displayed to the rest of the world his utter ignorance on foreign policy and NATO. Even the other foreign leaders attending the meetings found it hard not to laugh in full view of press cameras during Trump’s arrogant and misinformed speech about allies paying their fair share into the non-existent NATO coffers. It was far from America’s proudest moment.
On Tuesday morning, Trump continued pushing that same ignorant story onto his Twitter followers, making claims that Germany has welshed on their “payments” to NATO. The problem is, there are no payments to NATO. That isn’t how it works at all, which German Chancellor Angela Merkel tried once to explain to Trump shortly after his inauguration. Apparently, he wasn’t listening.
It is true that agreements between NATO countries require that at least two percent of their total GOP should go to military spending, and it is true that the United States spends far more on the military than any other country. However, there are no “payments” into NATO. This has surely been explained to Trump by those in his administration, yet he continues to push that criticism.
Trump also tweeted while on his trip that payments were “pouring in” after his laughable speech criticizing other countries for not “paying” into NATO, taking credit for that money coming in.
However, the claim makes zero sense. Trump supporters may believe that in just two days, Trump badgered other countries to complete serious budgetary changes to invest more funds into their military or somehow began making payments to the U.S. or some non-existent central organization that collects NATO funds, but it simply isn’t true and isn’t even possible.
All of Trump’s recent misleading statements on NATO have seriously damaged the U.S. in their relations with NATO allies. Even Chancellor Merkel, who seemed willing to try to work with the ignorant new U.S. president, said that after the NATO summit with Trump that it was obvious Germany could no longer rely on the U.S. for help in the future. In one fell swoop, Trump alienated allies and embarrassed the entire country with his complete lack of understanding on foreign policy and diplomacy.
It’s difficult to imagine another three and half years of Trump’s presidency and the lasting damage that will be done by the ignorant buffoon in the White House.