Tusk's European Union riposte to Trump: Respect the allies you have

Leroy Wright
July 11, 2018

Trump, who has compared the sentiment that underpinned the Brexit vote to leave the European Union to his own election, will be making his maiden presidential trip to Britain at a fraught time for May.

Tusk too urged the Europeans to increase spending as they have promised, but said: "Dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don't have all that many".

Yet the risk of a blowup is all the greater given Trump's habit of conflating defense spending with trade surpluses, a gripe that puts Angela Merkel and Justin Trudeau firmly in his sights.

Although it's been somewhat of a running joke among Democrats, and even some Republicans in Washington, that President Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, are "best buds", a new Washington Post article published this weekend, sheds further light on what appears to be a somewhat friendly relationship between the two.

While some have chosen to criticise the President for taking the alliance to task, behind Trump's comments are the raw figures that show the vast majority of NATO nations do not pay the two per cent of GDP on defence minimum required by mutually-ratified treaty and have not done for many years. But we can not be taken advantage of.

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Some diplomats fear that Trump will threaten to pull troops out of Europe without more spending on defense, despite US denials. "Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all - who would think?"

Diplomats fear an acrimonious meeting could undermine efforts to show unity in the face of the growing threat on the alliance's eastern flank - particularly with Trump set to meet Putin in Helsinki a few days later.

Trump's weeklong trip to Europe will continue with a stop in Scotland before ending with a sit-down in Helsinki with Putin, whose country the US intelligence community has concluded interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump win. We're being taken advantage of by the European Union.

"We need to stick with our European allies, those in the EU, to challenge China", he said. "Charge us big Tariffs (& Barriers)!" the President tweeted on Tuesday before six in the morning.

On other occasions, the two men discussed Syria, where Putin offered to help Trump achieve his agenda of pulling the United States out of the region, before advisers urged the President not to accept such an offer. "[Trump] is going to talk to Russian Federation, to Putin about his malign influence in so many areas", she said.

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