The context is that Trump is supposed to be commemorating a 9/11 memorial at the new NATO headquarters. This is a moment to celebrate how NATO came together to defend the US and aid in the aftermath of the attack. NATO was always designed and expected to cement the American commitment to defend Canada and Europe. Not the other way around, and yet damn near every ally showed up and helped. First by sending NATO planes over American cities to prevent another attack (New Year's Eve, Super Bowl, etc). Then by sending troops to America's war in Afghanistan, where they, the non-American NATO countries held the fort while the US went off on its ill-conceived distraction of a war in Iraq that we will be paying for many generations.. NATO allies had more troops in Afghanistan for much of the mission and bore much of the costs. And yet on this day, Trump ignores that and focuses on what?*Look at their faces* and the whispering as Trump admonishes leaders over NATO financial obligations. pic.twitter.com/gLCYgKTdi3— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) May 25, 2017
Trump focuses on NATO as protection racket or country club--the video above once again indicates that Trump believes the US is owed for past European and Canadian underspending. This is not how it works. But he is deliberately ignorant--choosing not to learn that NATO's 2% guideline is exactly that--a guideline, not a rule, not a law. NATO countries did commit to aspire to reach 2% by 2024. It ain't 2024 yet as much as we wish it to be.
And, yes, Trump didn't even say words he didn't believe--that the US is committed to the defense of NATO countries. There was an expectation that he would say some nice words about Article V, but he dropped that part of the text. It is revealing, of course, that he couldn't even summon a lie for the moment, but it would have been as meaningful as his pledges to pay his contractors or to respect his marriage(s).
The only thing Trump is really good at is undermining my productivity. So much for grant-writing this morning. FFS