Former national security adviser John Bolton expressed concern in a new interview that hostile actors would acquire biological weapons or the U.S. could withdraw from NATO if President Trump is
President Trump’s speech about Iran wasn’t just aimed at that country or the US. He also targeted NATO allies, urging members of the alliance to step up and help US efforts in the Middle East.
Source: Trump asks NATO allies for help with Iran after years of bashing the alliance : The Conversation
US president calls French leader’s comments ‘nasty’ and says Paris could leave alliance
US President Donald Trump once again falsely claimed on Tuesday that his father was born in Germany when he was in fact born in New York in 1905.
Trump made the comments from the White House where he was meeting with the head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), Jens Stoltenberg, and admonishing Germany for “not paying its fair chair” in defence spending.
According to a tally by the Washington Post and Buzzfeed News, it is the fourth time the American leader has publicly made the erroneous claim. He appears to confuse his father with his grandfather.
Friedrich Trumpf (later known as Frederick Trump) arrived in the US from his native Germany in 1885 at 16, US immigration records show.
His son – Donald’s father, Fred Trump – was however born in the Bronx, New York, in 1905.
Trump’s mother, Mary Anne MacLeod, was born in Europe. She acquired the American nationality in 1942, twelve years after leaving her native Scotland for the US.
According to reports last weekend, the FBI first began to suspect Trump was working for Russia when he fired FBI Director James Comey in May of 2017. “Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security,” The New York Times reported. “Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.”
Let’s stop right there and have a look at the operative words in the Times report, “working for Russia.” People who have been following the Trump-Russia story, now more than two years old, have considered a lot of possibilities with Trump and Russia, but it seems from the reaction the Times story produced, whether Trump was actually “working for Russia” hasn’t been one of them for many. The subject of this particular corner of the FBI investigation raises a couple of interesting questions. What did the “work” Trump may have been doing for Russia consist of? Why would an independently wealthy businessman like Trump “work” for a country which has opposed us around the world for so long?
From Trump’s reaction to the Times report over the weekend, he appeared to have been unaware that the FBI was exploring the question of whether he worked for Russia. But if you look back at what we might call Trump’s “Russia denials,” especially those he made during the campaign — which were often spontaneous and unprompted by allegations by Democrats or questions from the press — it seems that at least working with Russia was constantly on his mind.
As early as July 26, 2016, during his campaign for president, Trump woke up and tweeted, “For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia.” He wasn’t even the Republican nominee yet.
In the third debate on October 20, when Trump said Putin had “no respect” for her or President Obama, Clinton shot back, “Well, that’s because he’d rather have a puppet as president of the United States.” Trump seemed threatened by the charge. “No puppet. No puppet,” he cried defensively. “You’re the puppet! No, you’re the puppet!”
President Donald Trump has made his disdain of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, amply clear. He’s lambasted the decades-old alliance as “obsolete,” erroneously accused other members of owing the U.S. money and even came close last summer to threatening to withdraw America from the alliance if other members didn’t increase their defense spending.
Trump reportedly told NATO allies at a July summit that the U.S. would “go it alone” unless they boosted their financial contributions. He later appeared to soften his tone, however, reaffirming America’s “very strong” commitment to NATO.
But according to a New York Times report published Monday, the possibility of a U.S. withdrawal from the alliance was repeatedly floated by Trump behind closed doors last year.
President Trump last week demanded that NATO allies, who have already pledged to increase their military spending to 2 percent of GDP by 2024, raise their spending to 4 percent.
This is supposedly necessary to defend against Russia. Whether or not he really thinks Russia is that much of a threat, the fact is that the European members of NATO already outspend Russia by a considerable amount.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Institute, Russia’s spending military spending last year was $66.3 billion, down from $69.2 billion in 2016.
France spent $57.8 billion, the UK spent $47.2 billion and Germany spent $44.3 billion—a combined total of $149.3 billion, more than double what Russia spent. Estimated US spending was $610 billion.
The International Institute for Strategic Studies made different but similar estimates.
Its estimate was that Russia spent $61.2 billion last year, while the UK spent $50.7…
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EU governments last month delayed by at least a year a decision to allow membership talks with Macedonia and Albania after France and the Netherlands demanded more reforms to tackle organized crime and corruption.
Johannes Hahn, the EU’s Enlargement Commissioner, told reporters in the Macedonian capital Skopje he was happy “to announce today the official launch of the screening process with your country”.
Hahn explained the screening would allow Macedonia and neighboring Albania to become familiar with EU legal norms and the EU to gauge their preparedness to comply with them, especially the chapters on rule of law.
“This shows our very strong engagement to accompany you in your reform efforts and to turn your EU integration perspective into reality,” Hahn said, promising the EU door would be open.
Donald Trump has been told to stop berating European countries over how much they spend on their militaries.
The US President frequently complains that Washington pays too much into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a military alliance between a host of European countries, the US and Canada.
Now Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, has hit back at Trump on the eve of a NATO summit in Brussels.
“Dear America, appreciate your allies, you don’t have that many,” Tusk said after signing a statement on co-operation between the EU and NATO.
In the lead-up to the upcoming NATO summit in Brussels, President Donald Trump has reportedly sent “sharply worded letters” to the leaders of several NATO allies, escalating his long-simmering feud with the military alliance.
The New York Times reported Monday that the letters, sent last month to leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Prime Minister Charles Michel of Belgium, rebuked NATO allies for not spending enough on their own defense ― a criticism that Trump has repeatedly leveled against other alliance members.
The president also suggested in the letters that the U.S. would consider reducing its military commitment globally if its allies don’t ramp up spending, reported the Times.
In his letter to Merkel, Trump reportedly wrote: “There is growing frustration in the United States that some allies have not stepped up as promised. The United States continues to devote more resources to the defense of Europe when the Continent’s economy, including Germany’s, are doing well and security challenges abound. This is no longer sustainable for us.”
“It will … become increasingly difficult to justify to American citizens why some countries do not share NATO’s collective security burden while American soldiers continue to sacrifice their lives overseas or come home gravely wounded,” the letter continued.