NATO chief: Trump's 'absolutely' committed to alliance

Ruben Ruiz
June 6, 2017

The team of McMaster, James Mattis and Rex Tillerson reportedly lobbied for days to get Trump to reaffirm his commitment to Article 5 in his speech, but "the president appears to have deleted it himself, according to one version making the rounds inside the government", Politico reports.

Instead of the speech that had been carefully written, vetted, and approved in advance, Trump chose to deliver an insulting demand for payment even as a relic from the World Trade Center was being installed to remind the member states of the one time they had been called on to spill blood together-in defense of the United States.

"Putin will be thrilled at Trump's refusal to endorse Article 5", Tom Wright, the director of the Center on the United States and Europe and a fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institution, said at the time.

Expect more such moments.

The three men all had advised Trump "to include the language reaffirming the so-called Article 5 provision in his speech", according to Politico's Susan Glasser, "and had worked in the weeks leading up to the trip to make sure it was included in the speech, according to five sources familiar with the episode".

"I think it's extraordinary that there would be an expectation that the President would have to say explicitly that he supports Article 5".

Instead, Trump used the speech largely to lecture representatives from almost two dozen member countries for not meeting their "financial obligations" to increase defense spending to 2% of gross domestic product. "Unimaginable under any other president".

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"And NATO has an important role to play", he said.

"He has, in meetings with me and publicly when I met him in the White House last month, stated that he's committed to NATO", Stoltenberg said on CBS' "Face the Nation". Montenegro will become a member in June.

"They had the right speech and it was cleared through McMaster", a source briefed by National Security Council officials told Politico. "Little did he realize that he would eventually have a United States president who would eagerly assist this goal". "He praises tyrants in Saudi Arabia but can do nothing other than scold democratic allies in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation".

Kramer added that he did not "rule out" the possibility that Trump had hastened NATO's demise.

Joining us now is NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg.

Trump's decision to not mention Article 5 was found specially egregious as the only time it was ever invoked in the alliance history of 70 years was in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. "Putin's goal will have been achieved".

Other reports by GizPress

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