NATO Countries Paying Up after President Trump's Public Scolding

Posted May 30, 2017

Two days in a row, the president and first lady Melania Trump failed to connect when Trump reached out to grab his wife's hand - interactions that were replayed in slow-motion and endlessly dissected online.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday said that her nation could no longer "completely depend" on the U.S.as a reliable partner.

U.S. President Donald Trump, left, French President Emmanuel Macron and EU Council President Donald Tusk, right, watch the Frecce Tricolori Italian Air Force acrobatic squadron performing, in Taormina, Italy, Friday, May 26, 2017.

Trump tweeted earlier in the day that he would make a final decision next week on whether to withdraw from the climate pact. And how weird, that Trump should be so solicitous of Saudi Arabia and Israel, yet so brusque with the Europeans.

In Israel he didn't mention the two-state solution that would create a Palestinian nation, or moving the USA embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, remaining silent on a long-standing campaign pledge.

President Donald Trump says he'll make a final decision on whether the US will stay in the Paris climate agreement next week. Trump said in on Twitter he'd make the decision this week.

Addressing U.S. troops Saturday at a Sicilian air base moments before departing for Washington, Trump himself declared: "I think we hit a home run".

Even when authorized, top officials in the Trump White House frequently request anonymity to brief reporters "on background", meaning their names will not be disclosed.

President Trump told the national leaders at the Brussels Summit this week that members must "finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations". He left some allies, already nervous about Russia's saber-rattling and Trump's public affection for Russian President Vladimir Putin, further flummoxed when he ended his remarks without making an explicit statement of support for Article 5, the common defense clause that underpins the 68-year-old military alliance. "And together we will overcome this threat". Watching the video, below, you can nearly hear every single person thinking, is this guy for real? The former envoy predicts, based on European leaders' vocal disappointment with Trump's behavior, that the US will hold less sway over key allies in the future. European leaders he met with at the Group of 7 summit in Sicily have been pressuring Trump to stay in the accord, arguing that America's leadership on climate is crucial.

Trump's return home also shifts attention back to the storm clouds of scandal hovering over the White House.

As a newly appointed special counsel is beginning his investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and close adviser, has become a focus of the probe, according to The Washington Post.

She added with a directness not often employed in diplomatic speak, "This is what I experienced in the last few days". During the visit, Riyadh and Washington signed agreements in different spheres worth $280 billion, including arms contracts worth $110 billion on U.S. military sales to Saudi Arabia, according to the Saudi Foreign Ministry.

European reaction - especially in the key capitals of Berlin and Paris - to the Trump visit is very different from the White House's characterization; and "success" isn't a word being used. Instead of following presidential tradition by making his global debut in a neighboring democracy like Canada or Mexico, Trump flew to Saudi Arabia, the repressive desert kingdom.

Trump betrayed no awkwardness at relishing the warm embrace of one of the world's most oppressive governments.

"The times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out", she said at a campaign rally in Munich.

The president pushed himself past Montenegro's prime minister, Dusko Markovic, to get to the front of the group as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders walked inside the alliance's new headquarters building. Trump received multiple standing ovations - one of his favorite measures of success - during a speech on USA relations with Israel.

Summing up the tour on Saturday, Trump's advisers seemed most enthused about the Saudi leg, where he clinched a $110 billion arms deal and forged what one aide described as a "personal bond" with the king. He also made no mention of new Jewish settlements in the West Bank, a major point of contention for the Palestinians.

President Donald Trump delivers remarks to US troops at the Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily, Italy, May 27, 2017. But he also held one-on-one meetings with the leaders of Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada and Germany. Trump hung back and, minutes later, opted instead to ride in a golf cart.