US President Donald Trump accused the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau into a “two-faced” after Trudeau and other NATO leaders appeared to have been gossiping about him.
A recording of the Tuesday night reception at Buckingham Palace London shows Trudeau swarming with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, British Princess Anne, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Route and the President of France Emmanuel Macron.
Trudeau was heard commenting on the apparently long-Trump impromptu exchange with reporters, in which Trump said Trudeau was interrupted with the statement that Canada did not meet its financial commitments NATO.
Shortly after Trump’s comments about Trudeau, he tweeted NATO has made “great progress” since he won the presidency nearly three years ago.
Great progress has been made by NATO over the last three years. Countries other than the U.S. have agreed to pay 130 Billion Dollars more per year, and by 2024, that number will be 400 Billion Dollars. NATO will be richer and stronger than ever before….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 4, 2019
Previous leader Wednesday, NATO gathered outside the golf resort of London to present a united front amid bitter differences on terrorism, Turkey and increased burden-sharing with the United States.
29 leaders, including Trump, pose for a “family” of the traditional photo before the countdown for a planned three-hour meeting. The leaders released a statement after it was promised to focus more attention on the challenges posed by rising superpowers Russia and China.
“Our commitment seriously as stated in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty that an attack against one Ally shall be considered an attack against all of us,” the statement said.
On the sidelines of Wednesday’s meeting, Trump held bilateral talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The White House said, “the two Presidents discussed the importance of Turkey fulfill alliance commitments, further strengthening commerce through increasing bilateral trade amounted to $ 100 billion, the challenges of regional security and energy security.”
Trump, the tension macron
The previous day, the leaders gathered for an informal meeting to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the alliance, but the day was overshadowed when tensions between Trump and Macron broke out in full public display.
In the nearly 40-minute session with reporters, the two leaders clashed on a number of issues including the burden-sharing in NATO, terrorism, the Turkish invasion in northern Syria, and the US withdrawal from arms treaty with Russia.
The two leaders met hours after Trump criticized the macron to recent reports describe NATO as experiencing “brain death,” because US leadership is reduced. Trump called it “malicious statements.”
As the two sat down for talks, Trump warned that NATO member countries that do not meet the guidelines of NATO spending 2% of GDP on collective defense could be dealt with “from the viewpoint of trade” refers to tariffs on products, including French wines.
This encourages macron, which currently accounts for 1.9% of French GDB against NATO defense, to push back.
“It’s not just about money,” said Macron. “How can peace in Europe?” he asked Trump.
“It is impossible just to say we have to put in money, we have to put an army, without clarity about the basics of what NATO should be,” said Macron.
Islamic State fighters
Trump and macron debate about how to deal with the Islamic State after the withdrawal of US troops from Syria in October, Trump move made without consulting the alliance. withdrawal paved the way for Turkey to launch attacks against the US-allied Kurdish militias in northern Syria and stoking fears among potential allies IS resurrection.
Responding to a question about whether France should do more to take on Islamic State fighters captured in the Middle East, Trump asked macron if he wanted “some fighters ISIS nice.”
Macron reply that the main problem is the IS fighters in the region. Refers to the sudden US withdrawal from northern Syria, macron saying “You have more of these fighters because of the current situation.”
Macron is “more on the side of those who want to really face the crisis and talk about it,” said Hans Kundnani of Chatham House. He is a sort of “disturbing factor” compared to other leaders who may opt to paper over disagreements, said Kundnani.
Summit comes as Trump faced impeachment investigation back home. He repeated his criticism of the Democrats who control the House of Representatives Tuesday, saying it is unfair to hearings on hold while he was attending the summit.
Trump is not the first US president to attend the NATO summit under a cloud of impeachment. In 1974, Richard Nixon went to the meeting of the 25th anniversary of NATO in Brussels while the US House of Representatives concluded its impeachment inquiry. Nixon resigned a few weeks later.
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