Trump Bloviates, Unmoored by Actual Facts or Diplomacy
President Donald Trump kicked off the NATO Summit by embarrassing the United States and its allies, and even his chief of staff by lying about Germany's relationship with Russia (video below).
"Germany is totally controlled by Russia," President Trump falsely claimed at a pre-Summit breakfast meeting, while speaking before the cameras. He was referring to a new and controversial $11 billion pipeline that delivers gas from Russia to a small part of northern Germany.
“We’re supposed to be guarding against Russia and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia,” Trump continued. The American president has worked hard to convince his supporters that Russia did not attack the U.S. elections, is not an enemy of the U.S., and that the U.S. should do all it can to appease Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, with whom Trump believes he has a friendship.
As Trump doves further and further into another very public attack on his country's greatest allies, days before he will meet again with Russian President Vladimir Putin – whose goal is the dismantling of NATO – Trump's Chief of Staff, John Kelly, was visibly uncomfortably, placing his head on his hands, frowning, squirming, and adjusting his tie as Trump bloviated, unmoored by actual facts or diplomacy.
“We’re protecting Germany, we’re protecting France, we’re protecting all of these countries. And then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they’re paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia," Trump accused, addressing NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. "I think that’s very inappropriate," he complained.
The American President, who later Wednesday will sit down with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a private one-on-one meeting, was not done attacking the U.S. ally.
“If you look at it, Germany is a captive of Russia. They got rid of their coal plants, they got rid of their nuclear, they’re getting so much of their oil and gas from Russia. I think it is something NATO has to look at,” he accused.
As Reuters reports, many of Trump's claims, like many of those he makes in the U.S., are mostly false.
Trump's "comment that 'Germany is totally controlled by Russia because they are getting 60 to 70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline' appeared to mis-state German energy use — about 20 percent of which is accounted for by oil and gas imports from Russia."
"Germany is totally controlled by Russia," Pres. Trump tells NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg as they sit down together for bilateral breakfast ahead of Brussels summit. https://t.co/CmyplgrxzN pic.twitter.com/6RnFk8Drgs
— ABC News (@ABC) July 11, 2018
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