European Official Slams Trump with Reminder to 'Appreciate' Allies: 'You Don't Have All that Many'
European Council President Donald Tusk slammed President Donald Trump Tuesday ahead of the week's NATO summit, warning the president that the United States' relationships with its allies are on thin ice.
“Dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don’t have all that many,” Tusk said, according to the Associated Press.
In the run-up to the meeting, Trump has been antagonizing American allies while placating Russia's authoritarian President Vladimir Putin.
"Many countries in NATO, which we are expected to defend, are not only short of their current commitment of 2% (which is low), but are also delinquent for many years in payments that have not been made," Trump tweeted Tuesday. "Will they reimburse the U.S.?""
The tweet continued Trump's bizarre idea that NATO is some kind of protection racket, and that American military spending — which Trump has repeatedly advocated increasing — is some kind of charitable donation to American allies, rather than an assertion of U.S. power abroad.
Later, he attacked the European Union as a whole, using a wildly misleading trade deficit figure: "The European Union makes it impossible for our farmers and workers and companies to do business in Europe (U.S. has a $151 Billion trade deficit), and then they want us to happily defend them through NATO, and nicely pay for it. Just doesn’t work!"
But Tusk insisted that Trump should remember who his true allies are.
“America does not have and will not have a better ally than Europe today,” Tusk said. “Europeans spend on defense many times more than Russia and as much as China, and I think you can have no doubt, Mr. President, that this is an investment in common American and European defense and security, which cannot be said with confidence about Russian or Chinese spending.”
He added: “Mr. President, please remember about this tomorrow when we meet at the NATO summit. But above all, when you meet President Putin in Helsinki.”