House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) slammed President Donald Trump on Wednesday for being “more loyal to [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin than to our NATO allies” because he criticized Germany for being … more loyal to President Putin than to NATO.
Trump made the rare public rebuke at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Brussels on Wednesday, as he continued his efforts to encourage “delinquent” NATO members to honor their promise to spend at least 2% of gross domestic product (GDP) on defense.
Trump pointed out the hypocrisy of Germany and other countries paying very little for defense while strengthening Russia:
It’s sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal where you’re supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia. … We’re supposed to protect you against Russia, but they’re paying billions of dollars to Russia, and I think that’s very inappropriate, and the former chancellor of Germany is the head of the pipeline country that’s supplying the gas. … Germany is totally controlled by Russia … You tell me if that’s appropriate, because I think it’s not. … It’s very unfair to our country, it’s very unfair to our taxpayer … Germany is a rich country. … We’re not gonna put up with it.
He drove home the point by tweeting video of his remarks:
Bilateral Breakfast with NATO Secretary General in Brussels, Belgium… pic.twitter.com/l0EP3lzhCM
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2018
Trump also noted that some NATO allies, such as Poland, had refused to do energy deals with Russia precisely because they wanted to preserve their economic independence.
In response to Trump’s rebuke of Germany and other “delinquent” NATO allies, Pelosi and Schumer, the two most prominent leaders in the Democratic Party, attacked Trump.
But they seemed so committed to their claims that Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election that they could not bring themselves to acknowledge that the president had actually rebuked Germany for helping Putin.
Pelosi and Schumer released nearly identical tweets:
THREAD: @realDonaldTrump’s brazen insults & denigration of one of America’s most steadfast allies, Germany, is an embarrassment. His behavior this morning is another profoundly disturbing signal that the President is more loyal to President Putin than to our NATO allies.
.@realDonaldTrump’s brazen insults and denigration of one of America’s most steadfast allies, Germany, is an embarrassment. His behavior this morning is another profoundly disturbing signal that the president is more loyal to President Putin than to our NATO allies.
They also issued a joint statement:
President Trump’s brazen insults and denigration of one of America’s most steadfast allies, Germany, is an embarrassment. His behavior this morning is another profoundly disturbing signal that the President is more loyal to President Putin than to our NATO allies.
If the President leaves the Putin meeting without ironclad assurances and concrete steps toward a full cessation of Russian attacks on our democracy, this meeting will not only be a failure – it will be a grave step backward for the future of the international order and global security. A successful meeting means real action, now.
The President needs to remember that, as Commander-in-Chief, his duty is to protect the American people from foreign threats, not to sell out our democracy to Putin.
President Trump is due to meet President Putin in Helsinki on Monday.
NATO was instrumental in standing up to the Soviet Union during the Cold War, but critics have begun to question its relevance.