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Trump’s Breakfast at NATO

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Trump’s Breakfast at NATO

Trump’s Breakfast at NATO
July 11
15:51 2018

President Trump’s initial breakfast with NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg has kicked off such an explosion of criticism from the left that it actually diminished the anti-Trump media’s biased coverage of the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

What most assumed would be a traditional photo opportunity over bacon and eggs — and the exchange of diplomatic sweet nothings — turned out to be a preliminary round of negotiations over the need for our NATO allies to up their defense budgets to meet their longstanding commitments – or maybe even increase those target levels.

In order to put the conversation in a proper perspective, we need to understand the history of this subject. For decades, American presidents have called upon the members of NATO to increase their budgets to meet the mutually agreed to commitments. Occasionally, there has been a modest upward tick in expenditures, but never what was promised. The so-called diplomatic approach that Trump critics keep proposing did not work – yet they want to follow that same old failed approach.

To his benefit – and the benefit of the people of the United States – Trump is not into meaningless politeness that too often characterizes what is called “diplomatic” discussion. He tends to mean what he says. That alone is enough to have world heads-of-state recalculating their understanding of the current White House.

The breakfast also represented another Trump characteristic – one not usually seen in presidents. He is very transparent. More than any other president, Trump has invited the public, via the press, into all sorts of working meetings. He has been more available to the press than previous occupants of the Oval Office. He has become famous for his casual press conferences.

The breakfast meeting was no different. He did not mind “doing business” at a ceremonial occasion with the press – ergo the world – in attendance.

As usual, the most strident and shamelessly dishonest analysis of the breakfast meeting came from MSNBC’s Morning Joe, with its standard panel of Trump bashers, including the usual tiresome representatives of the New York Times and Washington Post. The ever-exasperated and sighing Mika Brzezinski could not find enough derogatory adjectives to express her biased view of the meeting.

After each repetitious showing of a clip of the meeting, the Morning Joe folks dwelled on what they considered Trump’s over-the-top pugnacious style. What struck this commentator was the substance. Of course, Trump raised the issue of the defense budgets, but what was more intriguing was his criticism of Germany for its purchases of Russian natural gas.

He pointed out that while Germany is among the NATO nations that want protection from Vladimir Putin, they are enriching Russia with those purchases. Trump also noted that the pipeline from Germany to Russian is operated by Nord Stream AG, a company run by Germany’s former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. Speaking of Russian collusion.

Like the budget issue, the German purchase of Russian gas has been a bone of contention in NATO for some time. At this breakfast, Trump brought it out of the closed conference rooms and into the living rooms across the globe.

Contrary to the anti-Trump narrative, Trump was arguing AGAINST the interest of Russia. He did not like seeing all those Euros benefiting Putin. While that was obvious to anyone viewing the video of the breakfast meeting, it was a point universally missed by all those smart folks at MSNBC. Or was it really missed?

In all fairness, one has to admit that Trump’s pugnacious style may be a bit of a problem. Some of that toughness should be saved for the closed-door sessions. Trump seems to enjoy the entertainment value a bit too much. Having said that, there was nothing of substance in Trump’s breakfast conversation that was objectionable – and that trumps style every time.

About Author

Larry Horist

Larry Horist

Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at lph@thomasandjoyce.com.

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  1. Richard
    Richard July 12, 17:50

    Don’t confuse the liberal elites with the facts. Their heads will explode and they will verbally assault you per their instructions from Maxine.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Roy
    Roy July 12, 20:43

    I love President Trump’s doings. Let’s make America proud again

    Reply to this comment
  3. radman414
    radman414 July 13, 17:32

    Almost every day, President Trump wakes up, goes to work, and exercises his well-practiced, hardline negotiating skills to put American interests FIRST…and usually WINS! His latest win involves getting a commitment from our NATO partners to up their spending for their own defense…by $33 billion.

    While it is uncertain which nations will attain a level of spending (2% of the nation’s GDP) to which they all AGREED some years back, but never fulfilled, it’s still a significant victory for Donald Trump:

    “Countries are going to start upping their commitments… I let them know I was extremely unhappy with what was happening, and they have substantially upped their commitments.” – President Trump.

    Success absolutely “trump” style!

    Reply to this comment

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