As part of his first foreign tour as nominal leader of the United States, former steak and vodka salesman Donald Trump recently stopped in Brussels to address leaders of fellow member nations of NATO.
In the middle of his speech, President Trump made a comment that made some of these leaders burst out laughing at him.
Said Trump, with a straight face, “The NATO of the future must include a great focus on terrorism and immigration, as well as threats from Russia and on NATO’s eastern and southern borders. These grave security concerns are the same reason that I have been very, very direct with Secretary Stoltenberg and members of the Alliance in saying that NATO members must finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations, for 23 of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they’re supposed to be paying for their defense.”
Then Trump, who has a decades-long history of stiffing people out of millions of dollars in his business ventures, said, “This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States. And many of these nations owe massive amounts of money from past years and not paying in those past years. Over the last eight years, the United States spent more on defense than all other NATO countries combined. If all NATO members had spent just 2 percent of their GDP on defense last year, we would have had another $119 billion for our collective defense and for the financing of additional NATO reserves.” Trump seemed completely unaware of the snickers and eye rolls his words elicited from his audience, and carried on, saying, “We should recognize that with these chronic underpayments and growing threats, even 2 percent of GDP is insufficient to close the gaps in modernizing, readiness, and the size of forces. We have to make up for the many years lost. Two percent is the bare minimum for confronting today’s very real and very vicious threats. If NATO countries made their full and complete contributions, then NATO would be even stronger than it is today, especially from the threat of terrorism.” Do you think Donald Trump has any authority to call anyone else out on non-payment? Watch Trump’s speech and the audience’s reaction below: