Trump’s recent verbal attacks on Europe and NATO left many European leaders speechless. Brussels officials said the European Union was in ‘state of astonishment and agitation’ following the U.S. president-elect’s remarks. Earlier this week, the billionaire blasted German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her ‘catastrophic’ move to welcome Middle East ‘illegals’ in her country. Trump believes this decision prompted the U.K. to leave the union and other countries may soon follow suit.
Trump slammed NATO too for being ‘obsolete’ and for failing to reimburse the U.S. for its services to protects its members. His criticism further fueled concerns in Europe over America’s new found love for Russia.
European Leaders’ Response
In Berlin, Merkel told the press Europeans had their fate in their own hands. She added she was working closely with other European leaders to push back terrorism and revive the economy. French President Francois Hollande had a less veiled response to Trump. He said the union did not need “outside advice” on its issues.
Trump caused agitation in Eastern Europe too where former communist countries fear Russia may go after them while America is looking on. Eastern European governments are concerned about precedent in Ukraine and Crimea.
In an interview with two major European newspapers, the New York City billionaire said NATO was “obsolete” because it appeared “many, many years ago”. The billionaire was upset the military alliance doesn’t pay what it is supposed to pay. Trump hinted the U.S. should be “reasonably reimbursed” for its services or else the country would think twice about protecting its NATO friends.
In response, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the remarks were stunning. Steinmeier pointed out that Trump hasn’t taken the oath of office but he already threatens NATO.
The interview statements of the American president-elect… caused, indeed here in Brussels, astonishment and agitation,
the German official said.
NATO head Jens Stoltenberg said he had no doubts about the U.S.’ commitment to the alliance.
Brexit a ‘Good Thing’
Washington criticized Trump too. John Kerry described Merkel as a ‘courageous’ woman, whom Trump should have never picked on. Despite criticism, Trump is adamant in mending the country’s ties with Russia. When asked about a deal on nuclear arsenals, he said he would look forward to making some “good deals” with Moscow. On another occasion, Trump refused to say he trusted Putin less than Merkel. Last year, Trump said the Russian leader was a better ruler for his country than Obama for the U.S.
Moreover, Trump accused Merkel of having made a “catastrophic mistake” when she allowed so many Muslims and possible terrorists in her country. He noted no one really knows where those “illegals” come from, but added he respects the chancellor “great[ly].”
Trump irked even more Germany when he threatened to impose a 35% import tariff on all German cars produced in Mexico.
The icing on the cake, however, was his comments about Brexit. In an interview with The Time, he called Brexit a “great thing” and pledged to strike a trade deal with Britain “very quickly.” Experts noted the U.K. cannot ink a trade deal with anyone until it leaves the E.U. for good.
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