Nets Whine Trump Lectured to NATO Allies ‘Instead of Making Nice’

President Donald Trump attended his first summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on Thursday. While there, he emphasized that all members of the organization should be paying the two percent of GDP obligation they agreed to, instead of just the handful that do. Back home in America, the Big Three Networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) seemed embarrassed by Trump’s demands and scolded him for it. “This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States,” Trump declared, but the networks didn’t want to have it.

They all harped on how Trump criticized the organization during the campaign and seemed to disapprove of him changing his mind. “As for those allies he spent the campaign offending … President Trump later changed his mind. But today, instead of making nice, he scolded them,” complained ABC’s Cecilia Vega during World News Tonight.

In an almost ‘how dare he’ way, Vega reported that “He told them the United States spends more on defense than all other NATO countries combined, and now it is time to pay up.” “Some leaders serious, others whispering to each other. Canada's Justin Trudeau, stone-faced,” she continued before touting the response from Germany’s chancellor. “Germany's Angela Merkel throwing out a subtle jab of her own, saying it is trust, not walls, that unites.

Major Garrett started off his report, on CBS Evening News, by touting how furious British Prime Minister Theresa May was at Trump for intelligence leaks to the press about the Manchester terrorist manhunt. They are the same kind of leaks CBS adores when they’re useful in smearing Trump himself. Garrett also highlighted critical comments from European Council President Donald Tusk. “I am not 100 percent sure that we can say today, we meaning Mr. President and myself, that we have a common position, common opinion about Russia,” Tusk told the press.

Through his actions and his words, Mr. Trump lectured his NATO colleagues on their need to contribute more,” Garrett bemoaned, adding that “only five NATO members spend two percent of their gross domestic product on defense. The NATO standard. Just three more countries have promised to meet that mark next year.”

On NBC Nightly News, Chief White House Correspondent Hallie Jackson hyped “new tension in the air, with Donald Trump lecturing leaders of NATO standing a few feet from presidents and prime ministers blasting their countries for not meeting payment obligations.” After noting that only a handful of countries meet their promised obligations, she mocked Trump for NATO’s solution, saying: “Now to try to pacify the President, NATO is putting in place yearly reviews to make sure allies make progress paying what they owe.”

Both CBS and NBC were outraged that in the President’s speech he “did not publicly commit to NATO's core mission defending any member nation attacked,” as Garrett put it. According to their divination, it signaled that Trump wouldn’t respond to an attack against an ally. That’s despite Trump praising how “our NATO allies responded swiftly and decisively” after 9/11. This Article 5 caveat is a standard the media did not openly demand with Trump’s predecessors.

In closing out her report for ABC, Vega was looking forward to Trump having a rough time at the G7 summit in Sicily, Italy. “We just touched down here and this one is not going to be easy for him, either. Those world leaders are looking to press President Trump on everything, from trade to climate change to America's policy on refugees,” she said. 

Transcripts below:

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ABC
World News Tonight
May 25, 2017
6:31:23 PM Eastern

(...)

 CECILIA VEGA: The "America-first" President on the world stage today making headlines with this moment. President Trump appearing to push aside the prime minister of Montenegro to get in front for a photo-op. And as for those allies he spent the campaign offending –

 

DONALD TRUMP: NATO is obsolete. It's old, it's fat, it's sloppy.

VEGA: President Trump later changed his mind. But today, instead of making nice, he scolded them.

TRUMP: NATO members must finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations.

VEGA: He told them the United States spends more on defense than all other NATO countries combined, and now it is time to pay up.

TRUMP: 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. This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States.

VEGA: Some leaders serious, others whispering to each other. Canada's Justin Trudeau, stone faced. Germany's Angela Merkel throwing out a subtle jab of her own, saying it is trust, not walls, that unites. President Trump also face to face with the new president of France, congratulating Emmanuel Macron, whose far-right opponent many likened to Trump.

(…)

Their handshake seeming to go on and on.

[Cuts back to live]

MUIR: And Cecilia Vega with us now from the Sicily. Cecilia, we know the G7 is next. The President could face some tough questions from other world leaders who don’t see eye-to-eye on some pretty big issues.

VEGA: Oh definitely, David. We just touched down here and this one is not going to be easy for him, either. Those world leaders are looking to press President Trump on everything, from trade to climate change to America's policy on refugees. David.

...

CBS Evening News
May 25, 2017
6:36:38 PM Eastern

SCOTT PELLEY: Well, here in Brussels, the theme of today's NATO summit might have been “with friends like these, who needs enemies.” Mr. Trump publicly berated the allies for not paying their fair share for defense and the chief of the alliance complained that Mr. Trump isn't worried enough about the threat from Russia. Major Garrett covered the summit.

[Cuts to video]

MAJOR GARRETT: President Trump responded to the British prime minister by calling the intelligence leaks deeply troubling. He said: “These leaks have been going on for a long time,” and promised a full Justice Department investigation. At a ceremony with NATO leaders including Prime Minister May, the President observed a moment of silence for the victims of the Manchester terror attack.

DONALD TRUMP: All people who cherish life must unite in finding, exposing and removing these killers and extremists. And yes, losers.

GARRETT: While terrorism has taken center stage at the summit, confronting Russia is also a dominant theme. But the 28 nation alliance originally formed as a counterweight to the Soviet influence is showing cracks. European Council President Donald Tusk.

DONALD TUSK: I am not 100 percent sure that we can say today, we meaning Mr. President and myself, that we have a common position, common opinion about Russia.

GARRETT: During the campaign, candidate Trump routinely questioned NATO's usefulness.

TRUMP: I said here's the problem with NATO. It's obsolete.

GARRETT: He has since backed off that claim but today he made clear the U.S. is NATO's top dog. Through his actions and his words, Mr. Trump lectured his NATO colleagues on their need to contribute more.

TRUMP: This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States.

GARRETT: Only five NATO members spend two percent of their gross domestic product on defense. The NATO standard. Just three more countries have promised to meet that mark next year.

TRUMP: With these chronic underpayments, and growing threats, even two percent of GDP is insufficient.

[Cuts back to live]

GARRETT: The President did not publicly commit to NATO's core mission defending any member nation attacked. Scott, senior officials flying with the President from Brussels to Taormina, Italy here for G7 meetings echoed Secretary of State Tillerson who said yesterday the U.S. will fulfill all NATO obligations.

...

NBC Nightly News
May 25, 2017
7:05:52 PM Eastern

LESTER HOLT: Now to that tense confrontation involving the President scolding world leaders at a NATO meeting in Brussels as they stood feet away. And controversy over what the President didn't say to our allies. Our Chief White House Correspondent Hallie Jackson has the tough talk.

[Cuts to video]

HALLIE JACKSON: Tonight, new tension in the air with Donald Trump lecturing leaders of NATO standing a few feet from presidents and prime ministers blasting their countries for not meeting payment obligations. Only the U.S. and four other members actually do.

DONALD TRUMP: This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States.

JACKSON: Now to try to pacify the President, NATO is putting in place yearly reviews to make sure allies make progress paying what they owe. Critical of NATO on the campaign trail.

TRUMP: NATO in my opinion is obsolete.

JACKSON: The President only recently flipped his stance.

TRUMP: I said it's obsolete. It's no longer obsolete.

JACKSON: Still, he’s stopping short of explicitly endorsing Article 5 that says an attack on one ally is an attack on all, invoked for the only time on 9/11, as the President noted while dedicating a piece of the World Trade Center that this new memorial.

TRUMP Our NATO allies responded swiftly and decisively.

JACKSON: A White House official saying the President's participation alone shows his commitment. At this first face-to-face NATO meeting, some eyebrow raising moments, the President appearing to push aside the prime minister of Montenegro, the newest member of NATO. And on center stage, the relationship with Teresa May furious over leaks about its Manchester investigation suspected to come from the U.S.

(…)

This first NATO meeting with President Trump is an adjustment for allies, too. More used to former President Obama's world view. He happened to be in Europe today castigating an America first approach, telling an audience in Berlin “we can't hide behind a wall.” Hallie Jackson, NBC News, Brussels.


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