As Trump Criticizes NATO, E.U. Leader Warns: You ‘Won’t Have a Better Ally’

Before a summit meeting in Brussels, President Trump reiterated complaints about military spending. Donald Tusk, the European Council president, hit back.


Comments: 190

  1. “We’re being taken advantage of by the European Union."

    America has voluntarily spent what it has spent on NATO. If the EU's percentage contribution to NATO costs is to be increased, that could be accomplished by the EU spending more or the US spending less, or a combination of both. Trump can't force the EU to spend more, so why does he not just reduce the US commitment? If the EU does not like the reductions, presumably they will chip in more. If they are okay with the reductions, that will be that.

    “We lost $151 billion last year on trade"

    American consumers got value for their money when they purchased goods or services made in the EU, just as EU consumers got value for their money when they purchased goods or services made in America. The EU is buying everything it wants to buy from America. The EU does not need more American imports. Nobody lost anything, nobody was taken advantage of.

  2. I love your post. No emotions or mudslinging, just simple common sense, logic, and reason.

    US should reduce US troop levels, over a 2 year period if the EU wishes, or keep quiet.

    On trade, you are correct - the free market makes value/cost decisions and this is the most efficient system. US should increase auto duties to 10%, just like EU rate. That would help bring the trade back in balance.

    NAFTA should continue duty free trade as there is a treaty obligation, balanced trade with Canada, and national interest in improving economy of Mexico.

  3. trump is comparing apples and oranges - and trump is lying while chief.

    The U.S. economy is the largest in the world in terms of nominal GDP. The $19.42 trillion U.S. economy is 25% of the gross world product. What is Germany's or France's, or that of other NATO members? It's in the single digits and the first digit is under 5. Comparatively, the US can afford it compared to other economies.

  4. Trump's (or Putin's) playbook: break up NATO, weaken the EU, cosy up to Putin (we'll have to find out why some day).

  5. ChipK, I'm sure it's all about money. Psychic Jeanne Mayelle says Trump and Putin made a deal for oil in the arctic. Would have made Putin the richest man on earth, and Trump would get a piece of it.

  6. Does Trump care about allies? No, he is the only one who can "fix" anything. When your narcissism is that extreme, you look down on all around you.
    He cares little if any about history and knows even less. Only the immediate grabs his attention.
    The European allies are just one more thing to complain about. They have stood with us through wars, terrorism and difficult times but to Trump it's "what have you done for me lately".
    November is coming around. We can put the brakes on some of this insanity.

  7. Let's assume Trump's general theme is correct, that we disproportionately (in whatever ways it's measured) pay. What is Europe's response?

  8. if NATO wants to show their appreciation - they should enthusiastically participate financially in NATO. I get the sense they'd rather criticize the President, who is justifiably requesting their full, and prompt, financial participation. Thank you, Mr. President.

  9. And then going to meet with his buddy Putin on Monday. This doesn't worry you?

  10. You and Trump both don't understand that until Trump came along, we, the U.S., pretty much controlled the world, and we liked it that way. It costs money to do that, to control the world. How do you think we became, and still are (despite Trump's constant crying about everyone taking advantage of poor little America..) the richest country in the world? He is so ignorant and focused only on money that he cannot see this. I guess you can't either. As he has withdrawn us from many international, Western partnerships (the Paris Environmental accords, Trans Pacific Partnership, a few UN agencies, and I'm sure there are more), we are simply handing over leadership of the world to Russia and China. AND THEY ARE LOVING IT! Russia's playbook has been to divide up Europe, divide up the U.S, and then reap the rewards from the division sown. Well, Trump is doing it all for Putin! You have to wonder why. What does Putin have on Trump? Really.

  11. Why sure, tbs, you're correct. Eisenhower, Kennedy, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama didn't have any idea what they were doing. Only Trump knows anything.

    Only Trump falls to his knees at Putin's approach, too, so that's another area where Eisenhower, Kennedy, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Obama were remarkable stupid.

    To sum it all up, tbs, America, having a new Russian dictator, doesn't need no stinking allies. Right?

  12. Good Job, Mr. Tusk! Thank you.

    Please continue to stand up to The Bully Con Don. He is nothing but a pimp for BIG weapons manufacturers. He and his Top 1% Global Financial Elite Robber Baron/radical religion Good Old Boys' cabal want WW3. They are trying to gain more power over 99% of the people on the planet so they can continue, unfettered, to rob us blind and take us back to "peon" status. You and powerful people around the world who think like you may be the only ones who can stop them while WE THE PEOPLE take back OUR United States of America.

    The Con Don, Putin, Netanyahu, Erdogan, Assad, Sisi, the new Saudi Arabian "prince", Duerte, Steve Bannon, Peter Thiel, the Koch brothers - they want it all in their insatiably greedy, socially unconscious, demented inherited/stolen wealth frenzy for power.

    Guess what boys. Power is fleeting. Robber Barons die.

    WE THE PEOPLE will NOT let you destroy OUR lives and world in your demented quest for power.

    Not now. Not ever again.

  13. “NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS." Aside from the fact that Trump seems to confuse the size of defense budgets with paying "dues" to NATO, if he truly suggests that the US should reduce its defense spending to something more comparable to our allies, I'm sure many of us would agree. We don't have a large defense budget because of some perceived imbalance with NATO, but because the defense industry pretty much owns Congress, to the extent that it approves expenditures not even requested or wanted by DOD.

  14. The value of being able to have huge global wars conducted on someone else territory is beyond anything US spend on its military presence on foreign land (even if we actually paid all of the cost - and we don't). Furthermore, all our allies have gone down rabbit holes with us again and again. Not sure any of them would have done that if we were not part of a military alliance. They might just have said, "good luck and have fun" when we went into Afghanistan and Iraq.

  15. Does America spend proportionally more on NATO because NATO countries set the budget but then fail to meet their obligations? Or could it be that America, for political reasons and imperial drive, needs and wants an enormous military apparatus (surely the Pacific fleet is not because of NATO), which costs much more than what a mainly defensive alliance requires? Does America keep troops in Europe because the Europeans don't have large enough armies, or because it is an assertion of its neo-Roman role in keeping the Pax Americana?

    Only someone with a mind set worthy of the lower levels of the Simpsons can come up with a correlation between military expenditure on NATO and trade. American products sell when they are value for money. American cars don't sell in Europe not because of tariffs, but because no one, in countries where the price of gas is not subsidized to the hilt, can afford to drive enormous cars that drink gas by the gallon. Tesla has no problems selling its cars all over Europe, they are right for their sector of the market.

  16. Many of us are disappointed that Europe has decided to treat our President as a normal person, which he obviously is not. Trump chides our best allies as if they were bratty children, and the best European leaders can do in response is an arched eyebrow once in a while.

    Trump's threats to our friends while cuddling up to murderers like Putin and Jong are not even the world's biggest problem, though. All Republican leaders, bought and sold by the fossil fuel and timber companies, are trying to wiggle out of our emissions obligations. Included now are obstacles to solar and wind energy while slashing pollution controls for polluting and GHG emitting industries and power plants. This will greatly increase the probability of massive climate caused death and disaster this century.

    The Republicans are puppets of the oil companies, who shower an unknown amount of dark money on them. Republican Senators have the same level of independent thought as Russia's Duma delegates, or the legislative henchmen of Uzbekistan and Syria.

    Europe? Stop settling for smirking when the cameras catch you. Call out our Republican leaders publicly- as Merkel and Macron are barely starting to do- and tell America that you give up on us, until we elect a leader worthy of what was once a great Democracy.

  17. Tusk doesn't get it. Trump does not care about the U.S. or its allies. He merely dances to Putin's tune, and does whatever he can to advance Russia's interests so he can hold on to the presidency. Because of course Putin has the goods to bring him down any time he chooses to.
    People seem to forget the extreme threat to our national security - we're into our second year of having a Russian agent in the Oval Office.

  18. The EU leader is correct. In fact the US won't have any allies-save Putin-at ALL if Trump keeps up this business. I believe he WILL keep up this insanity of acting contrary to this Nation's best interests because he is incapable of logical thought, it seems, or at least of proper discharge of his Presidential duties. Thanks, GOP!

  19. We don't need NATO anymore, and they certainly don't need us. Bring all US forces home and "man" the NATO commitment on a rotational basis, with deployments paid for by the Europeans.

  20. You know, it seems rather surreal that the President of the United States needs to be regularly lectured about the importance of alliances and honoring treaties, and that ruthless dictators are not to be trusted.

    This is the world we live in.

  21. The free ride for wealthy Germany is over. End if story. What better way is there for Germany to show that is a true Ally then to increase it’s defense spending, to protect itself and relieve the American taxpayer of the need to defend Germany.?

  22. So let me get this straight... Trump sycophants now want a heavily militarized unified Germany? That worked out so well for everyone last century after all. The world we currently live in was forged by decades of hard international work and negotiations to prevent a unified militarized Germany as a central tenet of American foreign policy and was one of the few things the US, Russia and European Union agreed on.

  23. Perfect summation of the trumptard philosophy.

  24. Wealthy US taxpayers SHOULD be paying for the EU’s security, because they were the ones who opposed Communism, and who opposed Islamic government movements across the Middle East and North Africa instead of helping them with monetary aid.

    Had we stood up for Communists and Islamists - who do in fact have their working classes backs - the EU wouldn’t have so many security threats. But because we made the world a more dangerous place through our rigid commitment to capitalism and ethnocentric secularism, it’s only fair that we should now pay for their security so they can focus on giving some of the social benefits that Socialist/Communist and Islamist governments give their people.

    Eventually mass migration will take care of all of this over the long run. But in the short run, it’s Conservative America and the top 20% duty to pay for EU defense.

  25. If the US spends massively more on defence than it’s counterparts in NATO, it is because it engages massively in more preemptive wars than anyone else. The EU spends on defence, the US spends on offense, cajoling others to do the same to the point of unaffordability. While the US is content to spend on investment in death, most European (and Canadian) erstwhile allies invest heavily in life, devoting large chunks of GDP to socialised health programmes.

    The US is a martial state, the Second Amendment codifies that into your national psyche. It’s tragic that a concern for your neighbour, white, black, brown, indigo violet, doesn’t feature into your spending priorities. Instead, it is simply an intolerable disdain for anything that isn’t profitable or individually advantageous that characterises America. I know a great many of you are just as devastated by this turn of events as the rest of us outside of your fortifications, but I’m sick and tired of the bombast and hypocrisy of your politics and your crass and incompetent president.

  26. Trump is a servile lickspittle to Putin and is about to accomplish job number one for his Russian master: Destroy NATO.
    Putin's dossier on Trump and Trump's indebtedness to Russian oligarchs must see the light of day through full financial reporting.

  27. Ignorant of any other history than that about his overinflated ego, Trump will certainly never understand that the US military presence in Europe is more a matter of the continuous global expansion of the American military industrial complex since the end of WWII than of any 'parasitic' need for security by Europe.

    Americans, many begrudgingly, have long accustomed themselves to the global presence and costs of such an expansion, Europeans as well as Asians seemingly less so.

    Maybe Trump's threats and hostile actions will actually move some of these countries to force the removal of such bases, which have despite often-strong local opposition to their presence, never have been removed because of a shared belief in the underlying security arrangement. Trump's thug-like threats have already undermined Europeans' faith in such security arrangements with the US., and one wonders when the proverbial camel's back will be broken.

    In turn, I wonder what the US military industrial complex, the monster that a real President (Eisenhower) warned us about more than 50 years ago, will do then?

  28. Pay no attention to Putin’s hand moving Trumps mouth.

    After years of illegal Russian real estate and money laundering, Putin has more than bought and paid for Trump, so why not use him.

    To undermine our country and democracy.

  29. It's fascinating that Trump, who has certainly made a life-style out of his taking advantage of people, keeps accusing OTHERS of "taking advantage."

    Yes, Donald, you ARE "Very Unfair!" You always have been, and you always will be. You were raised badly, and now your parents' failure is the curse of this country and the entire world.

  30. Tusk is the very definition of an unelected European bureaucrat, bullying others.

  31. He's the president of Poland. Many of us would make the case that the president elected by the American people was Hillary Clinton. Trump was a elected by a mathematical and historical fluke called the Electoral College.

  32. Oh, those European bullies!! Clutch yr pearls and vacation in Odessa. I hear Yalta is very peaceful.

  33. Trump is the very definition of a) a bully; and b) an unelected president. Oh, the Electoral College elected him? The European Council elected Tusk.

  34. Mr. Tusk, Trump doesn't appreciate anyone. Only himself.

  35. WHY oh WHY is Donald Trump in thrall to Putin?
    1. He is awed by raw power
    2. He does not know his history, and who the enemies and friends of the USA are
    3. He is a destroyer and not a builder,
    4. He is immature and prone to temper tantrums

    We as a nation are in deep trouble.

  36. 5. The oligarchs have been laundering money through hid properties for years.
    6. Trump has been in cahoots with the Russian Mob sice the Nineties with Cohen as his bag man.
    7. Russian Hackers hacked and/or fixed the elr tion for him.
    8. Multiple articles if "comprimat," including but not limited to the you-know-what tape.
    9. Evidence of financial crimes do much worse than any sexual peccadeloes that may exist.
    10. Evidence of how the oligarchs funneled money through the NRA and other NGOs.

    They own Trump and he must do their bidding lest he be impeached and sent to prison. Please God.

  37. Question to Donald Bone Spurs Trump. After September 11 which countries supported the USA? which alliance supported the USA? which countries send troops to Afghanistan to help the USA? which country let all the planes going to the USA and rerouted on September 11, 2001, landed on all his airports?

    Also the comments of Trump shows are ill inform he is. The NATO countries contribute to the costs of the American troops stationed in their countries. It will be more expensive to keep them in the USA and brought them in Europe in case of emergency. And if President wants to save money on defense, he should start by draining the Pentagone swamp.

  38. On behalf of the great majority of decent American citizens, I apologize to you and the rest of the world for this deranged POTUS.

  39. What does Putin have on our so called President. Throwing NATO and our allies under the bus after 70 years.

    Making Russia great again! God speed Mr. Mueller.

  40. It's obvious that the US is currently led by a dangerous, narcissistic sociopath who, more and more each day, is showing himself to be an actual Manchurian Candidate in thrall to Vladimir Putin. For him to deny the importance and value of NATO specifically, and our European and Canadian allies in general, is beyond belief. But he knows nothing of history and or geopolitical diplomacy. All he knows about are running businesses into the ground then filing for bankruptcy, and playing to a reality TV mindset, which is what gave him the platform to destroy everything that came before his presidency.

    When the next provocative move by Putin's Russia occurs, whether it's a shooting down again of a passenger plane or further land grabs on its border, or perhaps more aggression inside other countries' territorial space, I'm sure that this worst US president in American history will only make excuses for them.

    Someone joked recently that this "summit" with Putin is really a one year job performance review. I'd like to be able to laugh at that but nothing this ignorant man does is amusing.

    With him in the driver's seat, and with the GOP enabling him, this country is headed for an accident of catastrophic proportions.

  41. Sadly not an accident as it's all premeditated.

  42. Just like with the contractors he stiffed; he wants something for nothing.

  43. And Russia is only the 17th largest economy in the world. Think Italy.

  44. Trump's complaint is that NATO isn't spending the agreed upon 2% of GDP on defense? The US spends 4% or more on defense. But what part of the US budget is paying for NATO? Anyone know? Does half the US defense budget go towards NATO?
    If memory serves, our defense budget is based on larger commitments than just NATO. How much do we spend for Pacific theater operations? Mid East and African operations? Not to mention the defense of our continental homeland.
    Maybe in that context (as well as EU spending more than Russia) the NATO countries aren't such scofflaws as Trump would have us think.

  45. Based on Trump’s actions, the Europeans have no choice but to treat Trump as if he has been compromised by the Russians and that he is their agent. The evidence and Trump’s own actions make that conclusion the only reasonable explanation.

  46. Unlike Israel , the Europeans did help the US in Iraq, Afghanistan. And they get far less per capita.

    Tusk has a point

  47. “We lost $151 billion last year on trade...”. You mean we didn’t get anything in exchange? There’s no reasoning with this guy, President Soundbite.

  48. Why is Melania along for the Trip ??? Remember when large Circuses included Elephants ? There was always a guy with a shovel and broom, walking just behind them. Just saying.

  49. “...frankly it helps them a lot more than it helps us.” Well, Mr. trump, tell that to all the Europeans who spilled blood and treasure wastefully in Iraq and Afghanistan in response to an attack on America on 9/11.

    “How to lose friends and alienate people” is the title of trump’s next book - better make that a collection of tweets.

    Like a little kid, trump is giddily eager to show Putin everything he has done for him. “Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all — who would think?” Mr. Trump said, proud as a toddler.

    Nothing can unite Europe more than to jointly push back forcefully on trump. Especially now and show what a weakling he is before meeting Putin..

  50. Of course Putin will be the easiest of all to deal with: Trump has only one line with him, repeated over and over: "Yes, Sir."

  51. Why is it unfair to the US if Europe is stable? Unfair to Russia, maybe.

  52. According to this unbalanced, ignorant, mobster POTUS, our best allies are not fit and "cheap skates" when it comes to military spending. Of course, it's all about Trumps stock portfolio (lots of weapon mfg to be sure), and his desire to rule with force. More than that, this wanna-be-emperor wants to be "real guy" next to his man-love Putin...

  53. With a military budget of over $ 200 billion, it's a matter of increasing efficiency to uphold credible deterrence for Europe.
    But the name of the game is ' find a stick to beat the dog' and mr. Trump knows how to play this game of sowing confusion.
    I don't think mr. Trump's new best friend, mr .Putin, would really like to see Germany and friends to spend as much as the US on the military. A new 'Hochseeflotte', ICBM's in Peenemuende perhaps?

  54. We're sure to find out a lot more about Trump's strange obsession with Russia when the Mueller team concludes its investigation. The president loves evil dictators and has only disdain for our allies.Good for Tusk for hitting back against an American leader who doesn't have anyone's back but his own.

  55. Unfortunately we have an Imbecile for a President and when he speaks of NATO, he doesn't have clue as to what he is talking about.

    It sounds like he's already made some huge promises to his mentor Vladimir Putin.

  56. The US will never have a better ally, but the EU could do much, much better than relying on the now unreliable, and contrary US.

  57. Who would this better ally for the EU be? Australia?
    Canada? They will not provide the EU with anything near what we provide, including, not insignificantly, our military.

    Divide and conquer is a tactic as old as the sea and our idiot of a president is falling for it. The EU and the US need one another, but I have no hope that Trump will come around on that point.

  58. Now now Boys! The rule is, "Don't throw sand!"

  59. Trump's way of thinking is transactional like real estate and is as follows and aligns with Putin's.

    Germany/Japan:

    What products have the best competitive advantage? High value items like cars, escalators and machine tools.

    Where do they spend most? Education, training, heath care for workers so they can continue to maintain that productivity.

    What do they need for that? A open, secure, peaceful trading market throughout the world with its borders secured and national interests protected by a superpower.

    USA/Russia:

    What products have the best competitive advantage? Weaponry, fighter planes, military training and Providing security for trade and countries in its orbit.

    Where do they spend most? Defense by far and more than the next 8 closest competitors put together including China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, India, France, UK, Japan, Germany. Russia spends a very high % of their GDP.

    What do they need for that? Instability throughout the world so everyone is looking out for themselves and hence will force countries like Germany/Japan to start spending to protect what they have it for granted. In addition this ensures countries no longer can take USA blanket protection for granted and have to provide returns in kind to USA for the security blanket.

    In economics they teach competitive advantage and you have to create markets for the product where you have the most competitive advantage. This might align with that thought process whether right or wrong.

  60. “We lost $151 billion last year on trade, and on top of that we spend at least 70 percent for NATO, and frankly it helps them a lot more than it helps us. So we’ll see what happens.”

    Fail.

    Would someone please explain, in simple, single-syllable terms, the mutual benefits of having strong trade and NATO alliances to our failing president?

    Part of we pay is to police the world. Part of what we pay is to influence it. Seems to have mostly worked fine the past 70 years, except, of course, when we decide to go it alone. See Vietnam.

    If Trump wants to conflate our trade deficit with our NATO spending, he could save money by cutting the military budget. Wouldn't play well to the base, though.

    I'm sure he'd prefer to make up the difference by selling more arms. Kill two birds with one stone, y'know.

  61. Again, the NATO "dispute" and the US-EU trade "dispute" are merely fig leaves to cover Putin/Trump's main objective, to destroy global liberal democracy and begin a global kleptocracy.

  62. They do know this and they will be careful.

  63. Trump admires dictators and so wants Putin to like him. He simply can't fathom Putin will never see him as a friend only as a puppet to be used and tossed aside when no longer useful.

    Trump turns his back on America's allies but sits down for a fireside chat with a country that sabotaged and cyber attacked our country.

  64. Meanwhile, in related news, the U.S. Embassy in London has issued a warning to U.S. citizens to "keep a low profile" and avoid crowds and demonstrations, which may turn "violent."
    What utter poppycock. I'll be in London next week, arriving the same day Trump meets with his best buddy Vladimir - and if I come across any virulent anti-Trump protests, I'll be happy to join in full-throated condemnation of this spotted and inconstant liar.

  65. If you really want to get to Trump, teach the Londoners how to take a knee during our national anthem and watch his blood boil:)

  66. Appreciate...
    And pay for...
    ...your allies.

  67. America has decided to spend an absurd amount of money to feed its military/industrial (and God knows what other) complexes. Expecting their allies to do similar stupid things is the demand of an idiot. It is the American military and state department that has decided to have a huge presence in Europe. They prefer to keep their fights in the “buffer “countries rather than risk having it arrive on their own shores. NATO countries understand that in a nuclear world Europe will be destroyed in war with Russia (and so will the European part of Russia. That will happen no matter how many or few US soldiers are there to die with the Europeans. Anybody who think that conventional forces are going to make a decisive difference in a war with Russia needs to take their brain for a tune-up – it's a waste of money and the Europeans are smart enough to understand that. The fact that they have even agreed to feed the US military industrial complex and eventually waste 2% of their GDP on an American illusion is a gift that (I guess) we should be grateful for?

  68. The European Union and NATO should call his bluff and tell him move his troops and Equipment out and they will get along fine without him. They should then cut the money that they are spending on defense purchase from US defense manufacturers, he would fold like a cheap suit.

  69. You seem to talk a big talk but are completely discounting the fact that Russia already gobbling up parts of what now is the EU with an ongoing conflict that’s nowhere close to be settled in Ukraine. Wait until Russia wants a bit more and EU/NATO will beg US for intervention.

  70. Russia is gobbling up nothing,they are a country that is one third the size they were 20 years ago, their economy is much smaller also.

  71. A defense of Europe against a large scale Russian invasion does not actually work without a substantial reinforcement across the Atlantic on the magnitude of 500,000s of troops and their logistics and war fighting equipment. If the US pulled our response forces off the continent a Baltic invasion contingency is substantially more achievable for Russia. A “call the bluff” scenario would likely result in a reannexation of the Baltic States I fear.

  72. When it comes to NATO, the U.S. has a few allies, but many dependents.

    And, yes, before Donald Trump became president it was a type of co-dependent power relationship. The U.S. wielded it and the Europeans/Canada yielded it.

    Alas, co-dependent relationships are unhealthy and unsustainable.

    It is time for all nations to be equally committed to this valuable alliance. They must demonstrate that commitment by reaching the 2% defense spending target to which they all agreed.

    NATO can enter a new era of true partnership. The future begins now.

  73. Now if we could just get the US to spend only 2% of its GDP on its military, and tax our own US deep pockets (the big corps and the 1%) to make sure we did not have to borrow the money from our grandkids to fund even this, then the US would be all set.

  74. Us spends 54%, why?

  75. There should be no fight here.
    Pay your bills & do your part.
    Forget the politics.

  76. Great response by Pres. Tusk.

    How I’d love to see him take back the presidency of Poland from that lying, manipulative and malignant populist government that is sliding his great country back into autocracy and repression.

    Poland and the USA have quite a lot in common these days, it seems. But where’s America’s Tusk?

  77. Wah wah wah. Americans are unable to cut military spending. Don't expect anyone else to pay your bills for you, you're just not that sexy. Time to find new partners...?

  78. From this article.
    "“The U.S. is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter of the other members of the Atlantic alliance, hours before Air Force One left for Belgium. “Not fair to the U.S. taxpayer.”

    An ounce of prevention versus a pound of cure.
    If trump thinks this defensive alliance is costing too much, just wait until Putin double crosses him and tries to take back the Baltic states touching off a full blown war.
    Perhaps he wants a war to justify his dictatorial powers in the U.S.

    He such an idiot and such a traitor.
    God damn him to hell and all those who support him.

  79. I would not let my sons die defending the Baltics. Maybe when the wolf is at the door the EU will get serious about their defense.

    Until then, no point spending 30 billion USD to defend countries that won’t spend their own money. We have much better options to spend the 30 billion here in the USA.

  80. We, the 49% that voted for Trump believe the EU does not want to spend on their own defense and believe the 30 Billion spent to defend Europe would be better spent at home. We also believe the US gets a raw deal in trade - why is EU auto duty 10% while US is only 2.5%?

    Yes Maurice, you will need to build up your defense, and it is long overdue

  81. “Appreciate your allies,” Mr. Tusk said. “After all, you don’t have that many.”

    Very true -- and all because the treasonous toad in the WH embraces dictators and pond scum like Duerte, Putin, etc.

    Going forward the EU and UK must give Trump the same lack of respect that he dumps on them. Like every American with a brain and common sense, our true allies can't wait until the monster in the WH is out of office and his trash team have been rooted out with him and if there is justice -- jailed.

  82. Il duce has spent his entire career without allies, only
    sycophants and fanboys sign on to swim with such a shark.
    Ally is a term of weakness for him since it denotes a type of co-equality that his insecure ego cannot abide. Only subservience has any real meaning and value for him.

    Moreover, he has formed a loyal base, though some might
    justifiably label it a cult, by emphasizing how
    much of a loner, riding on a white horse, he is to save them from
    all sorts of supposed plots by allies who, as members of an elite, conspire against them.

    So this line from the NATO director will not really have any
    intended effect, and will more than likely just goad him
    still further to continue the outrageous bad boy shtik that
    he played to great domestic appeal during the G-7 meeting
    in Canada. After all, his approval ratings went up after
    that meeting where he was seen as sticking it to the "allies"
    by the propaganda chains masquerading as journalism.

    This will then segue into the following tete-a-tete with the
    master string puller of the Kremlin. I even wonder if he
    believes he would be sensed to be in a stronger position
    were he to exit NATO with as much contention as happened
    with G-7. Especially since, as is surely the case, he well
    knows that NATO needs him more than he needs them. So some of this back and forth is just media positioning for
    the follow up with Russia.

    It would probably serve some purpose to detail how
    his assertions about payments are nonsense.

  83. Well yes, POTUS is showing us Europeans that the US are no longer a reliable partner, neither concerning trade nor defence. We will have to take care of our own security and we will have to build up our own defence industry as buying American gear is becoming a serious security risk.

  84. We, the majority of people of America who did not vote for Mr. Trump, want to offer you - our allies - our sincerest apologies. In two years, if not sooner, we will work diligently to restore your faith and trust in our nation.

    Until then, please bear with us as we work through our justice system to eliminate the cancer sitting in our highest elected office.

  85. Why wait 2 years. You have the opportunity to take control of the legislative branch away from the Republicans this fall. If you fail the world may rightly assume that overall the USA is in favour of Trump. A vote for any Republican candidate is a vote of confidence in Donald Trump.

  86. trump has NO friends and is trying to do the same for us as a country.. we need to reject everything trump... he is NOT a person who cares about himself and his family ( sometimes- except when he is with a porn star ). REJECT any thing trump for your own good !

  87. Can no one educate this ignorant Trump? 1. The only time NATO’s mutual defense pact has been activated was on behalf of the US after 9/11. 2. The (very expensive) refugee crisis roiling Europe results in large part from destabilizing US actions in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. Europe must deal with asylum seekers; what is that worth to us? 3. What happened to the Bush era doctrine of “fight them over there, so we don’t need to fight them over here?” Our bases in Europe (like in Germany) are crucial to the support of our troop actions around the world. Missiles based in Europe help protect the US, and deter enemies. The Normandy invasion, and the Blitz, etc took place on European soil. Cooperation with our allies helps take us out of the line of fire. 4. How much military aid do we provide Israel? What is the balance of trade there? Why doesn’t Trump complain about that? I would celebrate a reduction in defense spending, as well as in weapons sales and production, and horrific blunders like Iraq, but Trump’s animus for European allies is an unhinged obsession, not a thoughtful policy.

  88. “We’ll see what happens...” How I loathe hearing that phrase.

  89. The Sage of Baltimore predicted the current occupant of the Oval Office nearly a century ago:

    "On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." — Henry Louis Mencken, "Bayard vs. Lionheart," The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920 (later reprinted in his book "On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe,” 1956).

    Six years later, he further expounded upon what now constitutes the Trump-Pence "base":

    "No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have researched the records for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby." — H.L. Mencken, The Chicago Tribune, September 19, 1926.

    The two primary differences between then and now: today, the stakes are infinitely higher — and there are substantially more of the "plain people."

  90. With a vocabulary of 200 words and the brain of a 5 year old, Pumpkin Pie Face Trump does not UNDERSTAND the word
    "ALLY" - he only understands (what HE wants to be) DICTATOR!

  91. The EU is impotent against Trump. They have allowed themselves to become dependent on American largess since WWII. The US holds all the cards. We are not dependent on them for our security but they are dependent on us for theirs. Furthermore they are dependent on us for trade. Who buys more German cars or French wine than the US? They better tread lightly.

  92. You've been altogether too kind and left off highly credible candidates for 5. 6. and 7. I think.

  93. The US might buy European luxuary goods today, but you can bet that the EU is eyeing the potentially far, far, far larger Asian market as a destination for its products.

    The US better tread lightly, indeed.

  94. UK. U.K. buys more French wine than U.S.A. UK is also No. 1 market for French Champagne. Americans tend to buy American wine ( which is excellent BTW, am not knocking it)

  95. Why can’t we just call a spade a spade. Trump is just doing Putin’s bidding and in plain sight at that!

  96. Indeed calling a spade a spade means saying what Trump says about Putin is useless drivel; the man is in Putin's pocket. Repeat after me: he is bought and paid for.

  97. Indeed calling a spade a spade means saying what Trump says about Putin is useless drivel; the man is in Putin's pocket. Repeat after me: he is bought and paid for.

    A Europe that would fall under the control of either Russia or China would be a major threat to the US. Wasn't that the reason WWII was fought; to avoid having a dictatorial Germany control all of Europe..But the idiot doesn't see that.

  98. It is all terribly unfair. All NATO countries should be contributing to the military parade Trump is planning. Trump should cut military spending to match the levels of the other NATO partners. That will teach them a lesson. Might be hard on the stock prices of Military contractors though.

    Seriously though if the US spent less on defense they would not have to be constantly looking for excuses to exercise their military might such as invading Iraq or killing civilians in Somalia.

  99. The next thing that former allies should put tariffs on would be weapons and armaments from the US.

  100. Dear Mr. Tusk and other members of NATO and the European Union:

    We, the overwhelming majority of the American voting population, are deeply ashamed that a belligerent, erratic, unprincipled and puerile know-nothing named Donald Trump is currently the President of the United States and the face our nation turns to the world. His words and actions do not represent us; and we are mortified whenever he opens his mouth in public and places his tiny fingers on his 'smart' phone to tweet like a deranged ten year old boy who lights fires and tortures neighborhood pets for thrills.

    We will endeavor to exercise our intelligence, our good will and above all our right to vote to rectify this unfortunate situation as soon as possible.

    Sincerely,

    America's Silenced Majority

  101. He said it is a long and beautiful week ahead, well it may be a long week. We Had many allies before this administrations. They backed us up when needed and we backed them up as needed. Maybe we will have one or two left at the of it, if Congress stands up to Droomph. He did take time out today to add arson on federal lands to the list of behaviors that are just fine. Zinke supported the pardon of the arsonists.

  102. You mean like when Afghanistan sheltered the people responsible for attacking our country on 9/11, and all of those French and German troops showed up to help us hunt down and kill members of Al Queda and the Taliban? Yeah, they really were a great help to us.

  103. Start with this filter; nothing Mr Trump says is true. He may be making things up, or wrong or lying.

    Then assess the situation.

    Who are the US allies again?

  104. It's clear enough where this is headed.

    The US will soon find itself aligned with other so-called superpowers -- Russia, China, and possibly North Korea as part of some sort of grand bargain. Europe will be left to fend for itself.

    Trump can deposit the "savings" into the Pentagon's account, and go down in history as the American president who reorganized the modern world.

    Everyone here reminds people to vote, but that call isn't strong enough. If you don't like the direction this president is taking us, don't just vote. Get everyone you know to the polls and spend some time getting out the vote on the week of the 2018 election.

    If Democrats can turn out just more women, it could be enough to tip this election. If they can turn out more overall, we may survive.

    Vote, yes. But also donate money and volunteer.

  105. All NATO countries should just pull a Trump and lie. Look him straight in the face and claim each and everyone is contributing way above 2%. They could claim they read it somewhere or everybody is talking about it. That should satisfy him.

  106. No one has any doubts Mr Trump would survive cutting defence spending. The secret service is good, but maybe not THAT good. So please Mr Trump, do the world a favour and give it a try.

  107. Wasn't it American spending that saved England and France in WWII. Not to mention the Marshall Plan and forgiven loans.
    Something like hold your enemies close and your allies tighter.

  108. If Europe really wants an ally in Trump, they should simply bribe him. It worked for ZTE/China. Loan him a hundred or so million for a hotel, which he will default on, you have a friend for life. Trump is unlikely to defend an ally from aggression, but will move the earth to defend an investment.

  109. Why should NATO pay for America's addiction to war? We need more constraint on our war mongering behavior, not more money to expand undeclared, and unconstitutional wars, in Africa and beyond .

  110. If the US doesn't want to be a superpower anymore, surely there are less whiny ways to go about it.

  111. I think we seriously need to ask ourselves if this President is consciously planning to make Russia and China more influential and the US less so. I cannot imagine a more perfect strategy on the part of the US to revive Russia influence and aid in China's ascendant year.

  112. Seems like not too long ago in the budget process only the defense and homeland security departments got increases. Rhetoric about us paying less does not square with that.

  113. The US spending with NATO is far far cheaper than any war. The absence of war with Europe seems to be something that Trump forgets and seems to take for granted.

    Also in regards to other agreements it was touted that trade agreements and commerce binding the world would make it less likely they would go to war with us. Again, a bargain.

  114. War with Europe? What are you talking about? You mean like the Germans attacking Poland (both of whom are NATO members not paying what they agreed to pay). Does anyone really think that Russia is going to launch an invasion of Europe? It is exactly this kind of ridiculous fear that caused us to spend trillions of dollars for nuclear weapons that can never be used unless we want to render the entire planet uninhabitable.

  115. Trump and his minions don't understand that our military spending and foreign aid, including the Marshall plan after WWII was not necessarily humanitarian but rather a strategic decision to bring western Europe into the democratic fold to ward off a Soviet expansion into most of the rest of Europe. It was thus not only a military decision, but also an economic one by eventually opening the European market to American companies. NATO was established as a defensive organization that not only protected Europe from Soviet aggression, but assured continuation and expansion of trade beneficial to both US and Europe. Our foreign policy up to Trump was to establish a Pax Americana, backed up by a super strong military might that allowed relatively unabated expansion of trade with most countries of the world. The result is that the dollar has become the world's currency and as a result also the currency of refuge for individuals, corporation and even countries. As such the dollar is highly valued, even overvalued against most other currencies. This contributes to the trade deficit as American companies "export" their manufacturing offshore to save labor costs. Trump's beef with NATO has little to do with the financial contributions of the non-US NATO members. The latter spend the equivalent of China's military budget. Trump is threatening to overturn this balance, with the distinct possibility that Russia will achieve what the USSR could not do 40 years ago.

  116. It's as if Trump's voters elected Benedict Arnold for president. As non-readers, they may not understand the analogy.

  117. Benedict Arnold was a spy for the British. Trump wants the British to pay their agreed upon share for NATO. If Trump was Benedict Arnold then he would want the British to pay less. So perhaps it is you that either cannot read or does not understand the word "analogy".

  118. My government is structured such that in 44 years in the labor force I never got more that 10 days paid holiday.
    In Europe I believe they get kinda 30 days paid Holiday.
    Maybe it’s because the Europeans spend a little less on defence and a little more on their citizens. Anyway I’m half dead now, but I sure would have liked to have had a 30 day holiday. I would have liked to hiked the Appalachian Trail or visit Kashmir or, oh well, you guys get my drift.

  119. If the other NATO members believe that Trump views "ally" as anything but a temporary convenience to him, please recall the following: When he was near a critical financing stage for his building here in Chicago (the one with the big ugly sign), he offered a "friends and family" discount to a number of people involved in the project, so sales increased and he got the financing. Then he tried forcing the "friends and family" to pay more, claiming He Was Entitled to additional profits. Of course the settlements after the lawsuits included gags.

    By the way, thank you to the Canadian Air Force pilots who flew patrol missions over Chicago and other U.S. cities in those scary days after the September 11th attacks. You stepped up to the NATO mutual defense commitment for us, and I won't forget that. Our President probably never knew.

  120. Thank you. I witnessed those NATO pilots over head in Manhattan on September 11. Trump was too busy to notice them. He was claiming - falsely, of course - that his tower was the tallest structure in the city.

  121. Has no one else thought of what would be the perfect gift that Putin can give Trump in Moscow?
    What else but Edward Snowden.
    Snowden will be lead onto to the tarmac and up to the stairs of Air Force One in restraining shackles by Vald.
    Stopping at the bottom of gangway, he will be handed over to Trump in a grand flourish of ceremony. Trump will lead him up the stairway hobbling in chains.
    In exchange, Trump will authorize the return of all Russia residences and embassies in the U.S. along with the return of any and all assets seized previously.
    A full pardon will be given to all Russians previously identified as spies by the CIA.

  122. Even aside from the fact that Snowden is a hero FORCED to stay there when his visa was cancelled, not a "spy" for anyone but us...wouldn't "covfefe" give all those things to his boss putin for free anyway?

    I'd be shocked if he hasn't already. He's already completely defied sanctions laws from Congress.

  123. Participant N.A.T.O. countries should be undiplomatically blunt, look at Trump, and ask him a succinct and direct question: Is the United States still 100% committed to be a member of the mutual defense organization?

  124. The question does not reflect on what it means to Trump personally (accolades) nor financially. Easily answered.

  125. Everybody knows that person who was 'all that' in high school and didn't treat anyone well. Not his friends, no one. And then later in life, when he hit hard times...there was no one there to break the fall.

    I'm not worried about what happens to Trump. I'm worried about us and the rest of the world when the inevitable happens and no one is there to break OUR fall.

  126. My father, my father-in-law, and my mother-in-law served in the armed forces during World War II. They have all passed on now, so they don't have to see what's going on between POTUS and NATO. My father would not talk about his experiences during the war in Europe. During times that I have volunteered in assisted living centers I have had the opportunity to listen to many stories told by Veterans of that war. I have to say they were unbelievable, the sacrifices that those people made. Mr. President, what would you say to those veterans who gave everything during that war to bring about peace and stability, the same peace and stability that you are disrupting right now?

  127. To our allies in the EU and elsewhere, from an American who understands and values the importance and history of our alliance with you:

    Imagine if you were an American citizen and Donald Trump were your President: A loud-mouthed know-it-all who really knows nothing. A boorish bigot who actually believed that he was handsome and funny when, in reality, he was neither. A malignant boil on the tip of our collective noses as each day goes by, never popping, but always getting fatter and more ready to burst.

    Most Americans are mortified at having this obnoxious gas bag as our spokesperson. It’s as if we’ve lost some terrible gamble and the penalty is that we must have Don The Con tied around our necks like an albatross for the next two years. He, his sad family, his creepy empire — all are a punishment we must endure.

    We will be back with a new President in 2020. We are eager to reestablish our valuable alliance.

  128. It may be too late by then. At the rate the destruction is currently proceeding there will be nothing left of NATO by then.

    I cannot believe that I am witnessing this!

  129. The US voter elected him president the first time, and may actually confirm him for a second term. Your assurances won't matter one bit. The US voter has proven to the western world their lack of reliability when it comes to making a sane choice. The trust in the US will never be the same.

  130. Just another Cheap New York City Landlord.

  131. "Well, we do have a lot of allies."
    We had a lot of allies. Just which countries, other than Russia, has Trump managed not to alienate? Certainly not Britain - Teresa May will receive him graciously, but she may not be around much longer, and were he to dally in the streets of London, he would find the reception far less gracious.
    Another 2 and a half years of Trump and we won't have any allies.

  132. Trumps actions to verbally commend autocrats and dictators borders on a treasonous act. He is threatening our core democratic values in his quest to become a dictator himself. You know that is what he dreams about every night. He feels he should have total authority and not be held to the law of the land. Just as he ran his businesses and still does.

  133. Creamsicle Clown is apparently too stupid to know that risking the post-WWII alliances places the entire planet at risk. I wonder if the Clown has any idea what another world war would cost, relative to maintaining peace through those alliances?

    The Clown's traitorous escapades continue, and Congress stands idly by. Traitors all.

  134. Russia (Putin) is up to its eyeballs in strategy and Putin still has it in for the EU, especially after Russia's annexation of Ukraine and Crimea which caused the Russian-NATO talks to be suspended, freezing-out Russia. Destabilizing NATO may have longer-term benefits should Russia want, for example, "to expand" Westward by annexing other countries.

    In that imagined scenario, what would be important would be that those countries not be unified under NATO. In that imagined scenario, is another complementary scenario: that the US is no longer a member of the "obsolete NATO." The benefit of both scenarios, the US would not come to the aid of any Russian target countries.

    The best way to create both scenarios is to hire trump (dba, get trump elected) to disrupt NATO and ALL other US alliances, thereby ensuring Russia to be free from US interference during an attempted annexation.

    Think about the long-term benefits to Russia of the US no longer being a world leader, destabilizing the EU, and befriending North Korea, China and Russia.

    There would be so much winning...that would not MAGA.

  135. I want to see the photo of Donnie on his knees kissing Putin's ring. Putin's BFF. I am absolutely sure that Putin has the ugly goods on Donnie and Donnie knows it. Donnie knew it before the election.

    The deal is that Putin won't spill the beans if Donnie does all his dirty work. Break up NATO, EU, WTO, NAFTA. Alienate all of our allies. Putin will even threw in a bonus--Wikileaks dirt. Putin doesn't have to lift a finger he just watches as Donnie hops around like a little dog at this feet.

  136. For sure trump works for Putin.

  137. I dislike trump more each day.

  138. Mr. Tusk would do best to keep his trap shut. His claim is that they spend a lot on defense, not that they spend what they should. I'm tired of lecturing UN, EU, IMF, World Bank and WTO officials who mistakenly believe the U.S. is a piggy bank and market to be robbed and badmouthed. Meanwhile a hyper-partisan U.S. press demonizes Trump for Russia comments while totally ignoring Merkel and Macron's recent pilgrimages to Moscow to shake hands and take smiling photos.

  139. It's so obvious, Trump is a traitor.

  140. You know what’s “not fair to the U.S. taxpayer” Mr. President? The ridiculous millions upon millions of dollars we the people fork out every weekend so you can play golf at YOUR country clubs! You do have Obama beat in that category, you spent more on golf & vacations in your first year than Obama did in his 8 years in office. Well done Donald, president of the common man!

  141. Please go through and spend less on defence. Maybe scrap that space force?

  142. There simply is no way to square Trump’s constant cozying up to a murderous autocrat like Putin without wondering just how much dirt Putin has on Trump and his family. Meanwhile, the rest of us pay for Trump’s Manchurian Candidate antics.

  143. My main concern is that European politicians do not understand at all how Trump's twisted brain functions. The cultural divide could not be bigger.

    What Trump is doing right now, most likely at the bidding of his puppet master Putin, is reshuffle the global chess board following Putin's directions. Everything Trump does is logical, but only from the Russian perspective.

    What I cannot understand for the life of me is why Congress, but ESPECIALLY the GOP, is not intervening to stop this madness.

    If this is allowed to continue, the outcome will be devastating for the US AND for Europe. There will be only one winner and that is Putin.

    Never has it been more urgent to know what Putin has on Trump. I suspect he has acquired all his debts and Trump knows that this time he is going to lose everything and end up homeless if Putin calls it in. It is also most likely too late for him to back out, since he has already committed high treason and Putin holds the proof for that.

    Someone here has to pull the emergency brake to stop this madness!

    Congress, are you listening???????

  144. They have their fingers in their ears and sing la la la.

  145. Republicans have shown clearly that their only priority is not to our country, but only to gain and maintain power. So, if Russia wins big because of Donald Trump's shenanigans, what do they care, as long as they remain in power. Easy to understand. Republicans were never concerned about a "united" states of America, doing everything they could to divide America for the past 50 years especially on social issues, to inflame their base of haters to keep them in power. Now,, they have the ultimate prize, the divider-in-chief on their side.

  146. The Republicans know full well that gerrymandering, fear-mongering, stoking the flames of racism, and lying through their teeth, they stand to keep on “winning.” Their base cares nothing for our country, nor do they.

  147. I spent 4 years supporting a US factory in Poland, from 2012 to 2016. I was in country when Russia invaded the Crimea and it caused panic in Poland.

    Poland has bloomed like a flower since 1989. The people are smart, kind, and appreciate the simple pleasures in life because they know what it is like to live in oppression.
    I learned some facts from my Polish friends.

    1) Poland is stuck between two larger countries, with a history of being invaded by both neighbors.

    2) Russia committed one of the most heinous acts of WWII - the Smolensk massacre. They picked out the elite in Polish society, took them out in the woods, and murdered them. This included doctors, lawyers, civic leaders - anyone that could be a threat to Soviet domination.

    3) Britain and France deserted Poland in their hour of need. Promised troop support - as committed to in treaties - never came. The Poles remember.

    4) Germany does not have troops on their border, they don't have Russian planes flying near their airspace. The threat is abstract to Germany, but not to Eastern Europe.

    Former Polish Premier Tusk, shame on you. You know the history, but you insult the country that guarantees Poland's freedom.

    Chancellor Merkel, please take the actions you know are needed to defend Europe. You are the only country with the resources to make it happen. The US will eventually leave. Or you can sacrifice Poland and the Baltics in the name of austerity. I think Poland is worth fighting for.

  148. No Poland has become an authoritarian. state and is not worth defending. Same with Hungary. Their culture is more Russian than Western European.

  149. Trump is only asking the leaders of the EU countries for a level playing field on trade, and that they pay their fair share towards NATO. But for political theater, their cries of horror would make you think he is demanding their first born children.

  150. @steve: You think Trump is beyond using their first born children as leverage?

  151. Isn't it a fact that the the US helped create and needs NATO most to protect its own territory - far away from its own shores? The globe has shrunk so much politically- but not geographically!

  152. It’s amazing what a simplistic understanding of macroeconomics our so-called businessman president has.

    Not a good advertisement for Wharton.

  153. The Europeans are willing to fight to the last American. Why should we pay and bleed for these freeloaders?

    Listen to George Washington about avoiding foreign entanglements. I don't want my children to die for territory that was Russian for centuries.

  154. Like Alaska?

  155. Like the Europeans that died in Iraq and Afghanistan?

  156. Russia could invade the Baltic states, as it has Ukraine.

  157. Time to change the conversation. Macron and Merkel should demand a clear and unconditional pledge to honour Article 5 from the American president. If this is not forthcoming, France and Germany’s should leave the alliance and form a new, European, defence alliance.

  158. What does America need this "great ally" for? To bleed it dry of money? An ally which would pay for his own defence (or at the very least meet the paltry 2% GDP commitment to it) would arguably be a much better one, would he not? What vital American interest does this alliance serve? Is sticking it in the face of Russia so important for American "freedom and way of life"? Doubtful.

  159. The alliance preserves the unity and power of western freedom and democracy and economic and global stability.

  160. Well, David, the weird thing is we have a current incumbent in the White House who, while helping fan the flames of white nationalism here, picks on people from the nations his (very recent) ancestors come from. Instead, he cheerleads for Putin. Why is that?

  161. Trump doesn’t care about NATO because he doesn’t need to worry about Russia anymore.

  162. We allowed Europe to take advantage of us on trade, and we provided their military security for ovef 70 years. They should be upset. Everytime the NYT reports this issue, they never once provided a chart of how much each NATO country actually spends for their defense. I feel lately I am reading an opinion report, then I must google for specific data.

  163. Specific data from russian sources?

  164. We have the Atlantic on one coast, and the Pacific on the other. Now look at a map of Western Europe and tell us who is more threatened by Putin. They are spending what they agreed to; they will up their spending. However, they are the first line on the wall between a Putin who wants to re-create the old Soviet Union which would include what was once East Germany, not to mention Poland, Latvia et al. These countries have experienced the Russian boot. How much money does Trump owe Russian oligarchs? New York Magazine: 250M documented; recent delivery via private plane: 95M. Total in the pockets of the slush fund aka The Trump Organization: 345M. Where are Trump's tax records? Where are the visitor logs for Trump Tower and Mar-a-Lago? Even Trump's supporters know he is in Putin's pockets; they can't get past a ginned up hate of "Crooked Hillary" who put 26 yrs. of tax returns on line. They cheer a man who mocked a disabled reporter; they cheer a man who mocked a family who lost a son in a car bombing when he stepped forward to intercept the car before it could reach his platoon. They cheer a man who evaded the draft for Vietnam with fake bone spurs. They cheer a man who insulted Australia, Canada, Scotland, and England, our oldest allies. They cheer a man who is an adversary of free Europe, that Europe their parents and grandparents died to defend. For individual tax cuts expiring in 2027? Or for the permanent corporate tax cuts?

  165. Pepperman, If you are so certain about the reality you claim, why don't you provide us all with links to the sources?

    I'd be interested to hear how we're being "taken advantage of" on trade. Someone forcing you to buy European products?

  166. I don't understand why former presidents, lord knows many of them are alive, can't comment on this and state he dangers? Are they deaf?

  167. They have commented.

  168. Cowardly. We should add the documentation to their libraries.

  169. It's difficult to respond to the nitwit statements of the highest officeholder of this land. It's all like a bad dream. Perhaps nightmare would be a better way of putting it.

  170. So when does the charge of Treason come in to play?

  171. It should but to convict the Republican Congress of treason would be difficult and unprecedented. Also it would be decisive.
    Trump would be found not guilty by reason of insanity.
    Best to just vote them all out.

  172. Trump should tell them that without the United States they would all be speaking German. Pay their fair share.

  173. There is a certain amount of money that NATO requires for its upkeep. That bill is split based on a formula that accounts for national income. Everyone has paid their calculated share of the bill. What’s not fair about that? The formula? Okay, talk about that then.

    That 2% Trump keeps harping on is for a country’s OWN defence. So, it’s really none of your business. Not everyone gets off having a large military.

  174. What's wrong with the German language? Very precise and efficient. Never hurts to learn, never know when you will need it.

  175. We need to understand that the main interest of Trump is to make sure that the rest of the NATO spends whatever he thinks they should spend on US-war material. Only this will keep the greenback flowing into his , or his cronies, coffers.
    Fully agree with your comments on Macron and Merkel. I don't think though that we'll see an openly declared break-up. It will come over time.

  176. Mr. Trump can only leave his mark on the US relationship with the EU if he destroys it. He has nothing to gain from playing nice with Europe.

  177. I copied this from Chris(UK) above - it nicely sums it up!
    There is a certain amount of money that NATO requires for its upkeep. That bill is split based on a formula that accounts for national income. Everyone has paid their calculated share of the bill. What’s not fair about that? The formula? Okay, talk about that then.

    That 2% Trump keeps harping on is for a country’s OWN defence. So, it’s really none of your business. Not everyone gets off having a large military.

    Regarding trade - all countries have tariffs - you have 25% on SUVs and/or trucks.

  178. Yeah sure, without NATO Russia will no doubt immediately launch an invasion of Europe. Japan and Italy will form an axis of evil with Russia, the Germans will help them build the concentration camps, the French will surrender and collaborate, the British will rebuild their bomb shelters and actually fight the Russians, and the rest of NATO will surrender as it did in WWII.

    But luckily the Russians will not be able to safely open the Ark of the Covenant so the world will remain safe for the rest of us.

    The hysteria that is engendered by anything that Trump even suggests is even more ridiculous than anything written above.

  179. Putin has repeatedly declared that his goal is to extend the borders of the Russian Federation to encompass all territories with sizable Russian ethnic populations, i.e. to retake the territories Russia lost after the collapse of the Soviet Union. This is a matter of public record. I think it's fair for European leaders to be hysterical about Trump's comments in light of that.

  180. I never thought I’d idly wish for a military coup in this country of ours, but then, eh would think it’d come to this? A bumbling buffoon whose prodigious ego is only outmeasured by his complete disregard for consequential fallout and complete ignorance on economic matters. Oh, and the copious lies and being a Russian asset, too.

  181. NATO has gathered to defend a member under attack on one occasion. 9/11. And America was the victim of an attack.

    President Trump repeatedly betrays America, and sends flowers to Vladimir Putin.

    On our last July 4th, several republican leaders brought chocolates to the Kremlin, to thank Mr. Putin for his invaluable help defeating Senator Clinton.

    It is Mr. Trump who should be locked up,

    on charges of treason.

  182. I can’t support the machinations of Trump. Also, what is with the photo supposedly showing Trump & wife-back views of 2 people who don’t resemble them at all. Is this a hallucination?

  183. There is so much empty rhetoric, it’s unbelievable.

    Before you go on, think about how many European soldiers died for your ridiculous Middle Eastern invasions.

    1) Trade: fair-playing field. Define that. Don’t just parrot whatever garbage Trump says. Anecdotal tariffs are anecdotal. You say the EU has a 10% tariff on cars. The US has a 25% tariff on trucks. What does either anecdote prove?

    2) Defence contribution: Isn’t it a fair bit early to whine about a 2024 commitment (as if the US honours commitments these days) in 2018? Also, quantify “fair share.” Is 2% too low? Is 2% too high? Does each country get back its fair share from its contribution? Not every country has to follow the US’s addiction with its military-industrial complex.

    Before you’ve even considered these, please stop with the useless rhetoric that seems to inundate US politics these days.

  184. Maybe this time, the leader of Montenegro will be pushing Mr. Trump out of the way when they take the picture.

  185. I was born in India and as I grew up saw three wars with our neighbors. Nearly 25% of much needed GDP ended up on defense expenditures with more threats growing.
    In the USA the borders are not even protected by the Army. You don't need to as you have two important allies - Canada and Mexico. Now imagine both of them are hostile where one is trying to grab Maine and Washington and the other Texas. While from the Alaskan side you have Russia ever getting closer and with no ally in Europe to keep some pressure on the Russian flanks! And in the Pacific Ocean we have two more enemies in China and a disgruntled Japan. Imagination over! That is where Trump is getting us to insult after insult and Tarif after Tarif.

  186. I would like to see Mexico getting Texas back and Washington Northern California and New England join Canada. What a blissful scenario!

  187. If Trump dumps our European NATO allies;then the time has come to end his reign of terror on democracy. Tell me that Trump isn't a stooge of Russia's.

  188. Of course he is that is why Europe should ally with Russia and leave Trump the betrayer out in the cold.

  189. Europeans do not know how to handle Trump. Its sycophants know quite well that to gain the attention of Trump all you have to do is praise him. It works every time. Granted, Macron tried that approach and fail big time. But a bit of flatteries allied with calm and "sure you're totally right Mr. President"... that will buy the time needed to "weather" the 2018 NATO Summit. The last for Trump until Mueller...