President Trump responded to recent comments from French President Emmanuel Macron about NATO experiencing “brain death,” calling them particularly “insulting and disrespectful” to the other 28 members of the international group.
Trump said France insulting NATO is “very nasty” and a “very dangerous statement” for them to make.
“No one needs NATO more than France,” Trump added, saying the U.S. pays the most and benefits the least from the group.
The president also said he was frustrated with Macron’s decision to tax American companies.
President Trump said that French President Emmanuel Macron was ‘very insulting’ by describing NATO as ‘brain dead’ as the two leaders prepared to attend a NATO summit https://t.co/QdujskM4hq pic.twitter.com/P4AKEhmo3L
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 3, 2019
From the Associated Press:
Macron said the alliance was experiencing “brain death” in an interview with the Economist published last month, suggesting that the alliance was becoming obsolete.
Trump has repeatedly criticized fellow NATO members and complained that too few nations are on track to meet the alliance goal of spending at least 2% of GDP on defense by 2024.
And, Reuters adds:
Trump explicitly linked his complaint that Europe does not pay enough for NATO’s security missions to his staunch “America First” defense of U.S. commercial interests, saying it was time for Europe to “shape up” on both fronts.
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“It’s not right to be taken advantage of on NATO and also then to be taken advantage of on trade, and that’s what happens. We can’t let that happen,” he said of transatlantic disputes over everything from the aerospace sector to a European “digital tax” on U.S. technology giants.
Dismissing recent signals from Germany that it was ready to do more to match a NATO target of spending two percent of national output on defense, Trump accused it and other nations that spend less than that of being “delinquent”.
According to the Reuters report, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg described pre-summit NATO talks as having got off to an “excellent start.”