Muscles in Brussels: how President Trump exposes the Europeans’ double-crossing game

What I just watched on Fox News (FNC) live after 3:00 A.M. EDT (9:00 A.M. Brussels time) this morning (Wednesday, July 11, 2018) at the NATO Summit breakfast in Brussels was both surreal and fascinating.  President Trump wasted no time in repeating his demands for European allies (and Canada) to spend more on defense, saying they should do so immediately.

He opened his appearance at the breakfast with an attack on Germany, saying its gas deals with Moscow made it a "captive to Russia."  "Germany is captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia," Trump said, referring to Berlin's deal for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.  "Everybody's talking about it all over the world, they're saying we're paying you billions of dollars to protect you, but you're paying billions of dollars to Russia," emphasized the president.  He added that "Germany is totally controlled by Russia."

The president was referring to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would bring gas from Russia to Germany's northeastern Baltic coast, bypassing Poland and Ukraine, and doubling the amount of gas Russia can send directly to Germany.  The project is opposed by the United States and a few other European Union members.

The president then repeated his wider accusations against the NATO members as a whole for failing to pay their dues.  "On the top of that, Germany is just paying a little bit over of one percent, whereas the United States, in actual numbers, is paying 4.2 percent of a much larger GDP.  So I think that's inappropriate also.  We're protecting Germany, we're protecting France, we're protecting everybody, and yet we're paying a lot of money to protect.  Now, this has been going on for decades.  This has been brought up by other presidents, but other presidents didn't do anything about it, because I don't think they understood it or they just didn't want to get involved," pointed out the president.  He continued: "But I have to bring it up because I think it's very unfair for our country, it's very unfair to our taxpayers[.] ... I don't think it's fair to the United States.  So we're going to have to do something because we're not going to put up with it, we cannot put up with it, and it's inappropriate."

NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg was caught off guard, and he pushed back softly, stressing that NATO members have been able to "work together despite their differences."


Screen grab via YouTube.

Trump lashed back: "But how can you be together when a country is getting its energy from the person you want protection against or from the group that you want protection?  You're just making Russia richer. ... Explain that!"

Trump said as he arrived at the breakfast that the situation is "not fair to the taxpayers of the United States, but we will make it fair[.] ... They will spend more.  I have great confidence they'll be spending more," he later predicted.

Here is the video that captures the moment of truth in all its dramatic unfolding:

President Donald Trump exposed in a spectacular way, in front of millions of home viewers, how the Europeans milk money from the United States for "protection against Russia" while they give millions of dollars for oil and gas from the same, supposedly "enemy," country.

Trump is not the first U.S. president to bring this up to the European allies.  But he will be the first U.S. president to definitely do something to fix this decade-long anomaly.

Thomas Lifson adds:

Trump's critics who contend he is in Putin's pocket have some explaining to do as to how this fits into their conspiracy theory.  Other than energy exports, Russia produces almost nothing competitive on world markets.  That is Putin's economic jugular vein, and Trump is placing a knife on it with this pressure on Europe.

Tiberiu Dianu has published several books and a host of articles in law, politics, and post-communist societies.  He currently lives and works in Washington, D.C. and can be followed on MEDIUM. 

What I just watched on Fox News (FNC) live after 3:00 A.M. EDT (9:00 A.M. Brussels time) this morning (Wednesday, July 11, 2018) at the NATO Summit breakfast in Brussels was both surreal and fascinating.  President Trump wasted no time in repeating his demands for European allies (and Canada) to spend more on defense, saying they should do so immediately.

He opened his appearance at the breakfast with an attack on Germany, saying its gas deals with Moscow made it a "captive to Russia."  "Germany is captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia," Trump said, referring to Berlin's deal for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.  "Everybody's talking about it all over the world, they're saying we're paying you billions of dollars to protect you, but you're paying billions of dollars to Russia," emphasized the president.  He added that "Germany is totally controlled by Russia."

The president was referring to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would bring gas from Russia to Germany's northeastern Baltic coast, bypassing Poland and Ukraine, and doubling the amount of gas Russia can send directly to Germany.  The project is opposed by the United States and a few other European Union members.

The president then repeated his wider accusations against the NATO members as a whole for failing to pay their dues.  "On the top of that, Germany is just paying a little bit over of one percent, whereas the United States, in actual numbers, is paying 4.2 percent of a much larger GDP.  So I think that's inappropriate also.  We're protecting Germany, we're protecting France, we're protecting everybody, and yet we're paying a lot of money to protect.  Now, this has been going on for decades.  This has been brought up by other presidents, but other presidents didn't do anything about it, because I don't think they understood it or they just didn't want to get involved," pointed out the president.  He continued: "But I have to bring it up because I think it's very unfair for our country, it's very unfair to our taxpayers[.] ... I don't think it's fair to the United States.  So we're going to have to do something because we're not going to put up with it, we cannot put up with it, and it's inappropriate."

NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg was caught off guard, and he pushed back softly, stressing that NATO members have been able to "work together despite their differences."


Screen grab via YouTube.

Trump lashed back: "But how can you be together when a country is getting its energy from the person you want protection against or from the group that you want protection?  You're just making Russia richer. ... Explain that!"

Trump said as he arrived at the breakfast that the situation is "not fair to the taxpayers of the United States, but we will make it fair[.] ... They will spend more.  I have great confidence they'll be spending more," he later predicted.

Here is the video that captures the moment of truth in all its dramatic unfolding:

President Donald Trump exposed in a spectacular way, in front of millions of home viewers, how the Europeans milk money from the United States for "protection against Russia" while they give millions of dollars for oil and gas from the same, supposedly "enemy," country.

Trump is not the first U.S. president to bring this up to the European allies.  But he will be the first U.S. president to definitely do something to fix this decade-long anomaly.

Thomas Lifson adds:

Trump's critics who contend he is in Putin's pocket have some explaining to do as to how this fits into their conspiracy theory.  Other than energy exports, Russia produces almost nothing competitive on world markets.  That is Putin's economic jugular vein, and Trump is placing a knife on it with this pressure on Europe.

Tiberiu Dianu has published several books and a host of articles in law, politics, and post-communist societies.  He currently lives and works in Washington, D.C. and can be followed on MEDIUM.