Trump's NATO speech 'disrespected our closest allies': Pelosi
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"President Trump's brash and condescending lecture to NATO leaders disrespected our closest allies and dishonored the common defense pact that has been a guarantor of global security for nearly seven decades," Pelosi said in a statement.
Trump used his speech at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday to publicly scold 23 NATO members — including Germany -- for failing to live up to their commitment to spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense.
The president said NATO allies should pay the United States to defend them and even suggested that many were in arrears and owed the US past dues.
“This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States and many of these nations owe massive amounts of money from past years. And not paying in those past years,” he said.
Trump also rattled many European leaders by failing to explicitly affirm Article 5 of the NATO charter, which says NATO allies must aid a fellow member under attack.
"His failure to affirm America’s commitment to NATO’s mutual defense pledge — invoked only once, when NATO allies rushed to our side in Afghanistan after 9/11 — is not only shameful but also dangerous,” Pelosi said.
The House minority leader also said that Trump’s disregard for Article 5 would only embolden what she described as “Russian aggression” in Europe.
“The president’s offensive speech offered a fitting end to a trip that achieved little beside strained relationships and diplomatic missteps," Pelosi said. "Protecting America’s national security requires us to be strong and smart, not reckless and rash."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a speech Sunday that Germany and other European countries could no longer depend on the US for security.
"The times when we could fully rely on others are to some extent over — I experienced that in the last few days," Merkel told her supporters. "We Europeans must really take our destiny into our own hands."
Trump, who returned home on Saturday, took to Twitter over the weekend and described his maiden foreign trip as “a great success” for America.
The US president also claimed that NATO partners had given him a big win on the issue of spending and that money was already beginning to roll in.
“Many NATO countries have agreed to step up payments considerably, as they should. Money is beginning to pour in - NATO will be much stronger," he said.
Trump was highly critical of the military alliance on the campaign trail, but has softened his stance to some extent since taking office in January.