Putin is a competitor, not an enemy, says Trump

13 July, 2018, 11:40 | Author: Carlos George
  • “I’ve never seen a president say anything as strange and counterproductive as President Trump’s harangue against NATO and Germany,” John Kerry wrote. “It was disgraceful destructive and flies in the face of the actual interests of the United S

Former secretary of state John Kerry blasted President Trump's criticism of Germany in a lengthy statement on Wednesday morning as "strange", "counterproductive", and "disgraceful".

Questioned repeatedly about Trump's unpredictable demands, Macron injected a note of gravity, underlining that NATO's work is important, that it involves the lives of men and women - U.S. Corporal Joseph Maciel from California was killed in an insider attack in southern Afghanistan last weekend - and must not be taken lightly.

"'Is he a friend?' No, I don't know him well enough, but the couple of times I've gotten to meet him, we got along very well, you saw that", Trump told reporters Thursday when asked about his relationship with Putin ahead of their planned summit Monday.

In response, Lindsay Koshgarian, program director for the National Priorities Project which tracks Pentagon spending and its social implications, said that European leaders-and the people they represent-should be very wary about Trump's demand to increase military expenditures.

"Putin has tried to create other alternative pipelines that would essentially tie up eastern European countries, make them dependent on Russian Federation, just the way he did [with] Ukraine when he shut off their fuel in the middle of a cold winter", Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield (Ret.) told FOX Business' David Asman.

"I let them know that I was extremely unhappy", he said, but added that the talks had ended on the best of terms: "It all came together at the end".

After a seemingly tense bilateral meeting with her US counterpart, German Chancellor Angela Merkel underlined her country's commitment to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

And I would like to thank President Trump for his leadership on defense spending-it is clearly having an impact,"NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said". They're happy to do it. "It was disgraceful, destructive, and flies in the face of the actual interests of the United States of America".

Alliances and friendships are being sorely tested at the meeting of world leaders.

Trump brushed off the protests, saying, "I think they like me a lot in the United Kingdom. I'm a very stable genius", he said.

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At NATO, Trump did not specify which countries had committed to what, and it remained unclear whether any had changed their plans. That would mark a significant milestone for the alliance.

"The numbers have gone up like a rocket ship. and they're going to be going up further", he said.

Around eight members of the 29-country alliance are expected to reach the 2% target this year.

German news agency DPA, Politico and The Times of London reported the US President had openly threatened that the US would "do our own thing" unless the wealthiest allies were spending 2 per cent of their GDP on defence by January.

"(The) 2 per cent (figure) was a range, a goal, now it's a commitment, it was like this amorphous number out there and now it's a real commitment", he said.

He also reportedly said that if the accelerated target - which was originally agreed for 2024 - is not honored the U.S. would "do our own thing", sources told the New York Times and Washington Post.

Earlier, Trump strode into NATO's new headquarters to shake hands with leaders - but only after publicly railing against Germany at a breakfast meeting with Stoltenberg.

"We made a tremendous amount of progress today since past year", Trump said during a surprise news conference Thursday.

Earlier Thursday, Trump called out USA allies on Twitter, saying, "Presidents have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get Germany and other rich NATO Nations to pay more toward their protection from Russian Federation".

"We're protecting Germany, we're protecting France, we're protecting all of these countries".

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