President Trump drew round criticism from foreign policy experts after he delivered a ‘scolding’ speech at NATO headquarters lecturing U.S. allies to smirking world leaders about not spending enough on their defense.
The President again demonstrated that he fundamentally does not understand the pledge by NATO members on defense spending. Even more importantly, Trump neglected to endorse Article 5, which outlines the principles of collective defense. NATO members had done their best to cater to Trump’s short attention span and sensitivity about the Russia probe that has embroiled his administration, in hopes that he would publicly endorse Article 5, which he had been expected to do.
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell was clearly surprised by Trump’s speech — as were many around the world — noting that the President showed hostility and contempt toward our allies. She also commented that she had a difficult time watching the speech which was more like the campaign speeches which he made during the election season.
“This was, by all accounts, watching it, just painful to watch,” she said. “This was his debut at NATO and they were really angry.”
Reporter Kelly O’Donnell who has been on location for Trump’s trip pointed out the striking contrast between Trump’s behavior in Saudi Arabia and his completely contrary behavior in Brussels. This again points to a pattern with Trump of praising autocratic rulers and turning his nose at democratic ones.
“When we were in Saudi Arabia … the President was very clear in saying that America’s job is not to lecture the world,” she said. “And yet here, in this setting, President Trump really scolded the member nations that have not paid the proportion that they have agreed to.”
Mitchell also noted that it was particularly a slap in the face for the President not to endorse Article 5 as he was standing next to a 9/11 memorial, which is the only time that member nations have agreed to invoke Article 5.
Watch the segment below: