Trump Criticizes Macron's 'Nasty
Statement' as Leaders Gather for NATO Summit
December 03, 2019
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday criticized French President
Emmanuel Macron for his recent statement describing NATO as experiencing
"brain death," saying the French leader's comment was a "nasty
Speaking alongside NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg as leaders of
member nations gathered for a summit in London, Trump said, "You just
can't go around making statements like that about NATO."
Macron's comments came in an interview with London-based magazine The
Economist published last month. He has since defended his words, saying
NATO "needed a wake-up call" and should be focused on issues other than
the amount of money each member spends on its military.
Trump and Macron are due to meet Tuesday.
Defense spending has been a focus for Trump since he took office in 2017
and complained the United States was taking on an outsized financial
praised Trump on Tuesday, saying his leadership on the issue is "having
a real impact." He cited a $130 billion rise in defense budgets among
the non-U.S. NATO members and said that would go to $400 billion by
In addition to budget discussions, Stoltenberg said leaders would be
talking about counterterrorism efforts, arms control, relations with
Russia and the rise of China.
The summit comes as Trump faces an impeachment investigation back home.
He repeated his criticism Tuesday of Democrats who control the House of
Representatives, saying it is unfair to hold hearings while he is
attending the summit.
But when asked if the proceedings weaken his position as he meets with
other leaders, Trump said, "I don't think so."