Former Secretary of State John Kerry scolded President Donald Trump for what he called “disgraceful” and “destructive” statements against U.S. allies in NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Wednesday.
Here’s what he said
In a lengthy statement posted to his Twitter account Wednesday, Kerry condemned the acts of the president.
“I’ve never seen a president say anything as strange or counterproductive as President Trump’s harangue against NATO and Germany,” Kerry said. “It was disgraceful, destructive, and flies in the face of actual interests of the United States of America.
“President Trump makes public adversaries out of our friends, and turns our adversary, who has been attacking America’s democracy, into his fawned-over ally. Why?
“Why would an American president whose first NATO meeting last year was a disaster, show up in Belgium this year just to prove he doesn’t understand how vital alliances have made a huge difference for the security of the United States and the lives of Europeans?”
Kerry said Trump “displayed a woeful ignorance of the work his predecessor’s administration did to increase European defense spending,” referring to former President Barack Obama, under whom he worked.
Trump criticized the members of NATO for not fulfilling their agreement to spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on defense. He also mocked Germany for being beholden to Russia for energy supplies while depending on the U.S. for defense from the same country.
Anchor Shepard Smith of Fox News offered many of the same disagreements that Kerry had with Trump’s understanding of NATO in a scathing critique on his show Wednesday.
‘The most successful alliance in history’
Current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared to offer context to Trump’s criticisms in a tweet offered Wednesday.
“[NATO] is the most successful alliance in history,” Pompeo tweeted. “All #NATO allies have committed to extending this success through increased defense spending, deterrence and defense, and fighting terrorism.”
.@NATO is the most successful alliance in history. All #NATO allies have committed to extending this success through increased defense spending, deterrence and defense, and fighting terrorism. Weakness provokes; strength and cohesion protects. This remains our bedrock belief. pic.twitter.com/zDmTVZkEgp
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) July 11, 2018
“Weakness provokes; strength and cohesion protects,” he added. “This remains our bedrock belief.”