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President Trump to Stoltenberg: I Hope for Good Relations with Russia, and China, Too

April 2, 2019 (EIRNS)—At NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg’s pre-trip briefing before traveling to the U.S. for the NATO 70th anniversary meeting, a reporter raised London’s biggest problem: that “the biggest challenge, or threat, to NATO is the absence of strong presidential leadership from the United States.” This was the conclusion of a recent report by two former U.S. ambassadors to NATO, Doug Lute and Nick Burns, who had interviewed “dozens of people on both sides of the Atlantic,” according to the reporter.

President Donald Trump made very clear again today, in his remarks in the Oval Office with Stoltenberg before the expanded cabinet meeting, that London’s geopoliticians have good reason to worry.

Trump focused his opening remarks entirely on progress being made in having NATO allies pay their share of the costs. It was left to Stoltenberg to even mention that this was NATO’s 70th anniversary. When a reporter asked President Trump if he would pull the U.S. out of NATO, he did not say no, but merely replying curtly that people are now paying more of their share.

Then the big question on NATO’s agenda: What kind of security threat do you think that Russia poses?

President Trump’s answer:

“I hope that it’s not going to be a security threat. I hope we have a good relationship with Russia, and with, by the way, China and everybody else. The fact that we have NATO, and NATO is a lot stronger since I’ve been President .... But I think that we will get along with Russia. I do believe that.”

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