Trump’s one week tour to Europe, starting 11 July in Brussels, marks a watershed in Trump’s attack on the liberal world order. It is now clear that Trump is at war with Europe. The tour could have been a victory lap for the US President and that is how other US Presidents in the past (including Obama) played it.
The trip started with a 2-day NATO meeting followed by a “working visit” in the UK – not an official trip as usual, London was not included. The weekend was spent in Scotland, presumably to relax in the golf properties he owns. And the trip is to culminate with a one-on-one meeting with Vladimir Putin, Russia’s autocratic leader that Trump has often supported. Before joining the G7 meeting in Canada last month – a meeting that turned into a disaster -, he called for Russia’s return to the G7.
To assess Trump’s trip to Europe, one needs to remember that Putin is a man determined to bring down NATO and destroy the European Union. He sees them both as the enemy and the Kremlin constantly pushed that propaganda line at home and abroad.
NATO Meeting: Chaos
The moment he arrived in Brussels , he lost no time in dressing down NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg over breakfast:
Extraordinary outburst. “Germany is totally controlled by Russia”, this is “not appropriate”, he thunders. Note Stoltenberg’s reply, trying to argue that with NATO “we stand together” – an argument that gets nowhere with Trump who has no appreciation for either collaboration or allies. Trump sees nothing beyond what he calls the “energy” issue that has turned it a “captive of Russia”: Seventy percent of Germany’s energy comes from Russia now that it has given up its traditional sources (coal and nuclear). And, he points out, the German-Russian gas pipeline consortium is headed by a former German Chancellor.
That last part is true, of course. He is referring to former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder who is a top executive at the Russian-government controlled company (Gazprom) that is currently building Nord Stream 2 Pipeline under the Baltic sea to bring Russian gas to Germany.
But it’s not going just to Germany, as he implies.
Read the rest on Impakter, and the stunning strings of insults Trump managed to throw at UK Prime Minister Theresa May, click here.