Trump is an international embarrassment

Robert Reich on Trump’s “billing” of Germany:

It turns out Trump’s meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last weekend was even worse than we thought. According to London’s Sunday Times, Trump handed Merkel a bill for more than $300 billion that Germany supposedly owed NATO — supposedly calculated by adding the amounts by which Germany has fallen short on annual payments to NATO since 2002, and adding interest.

That’s absurd. The United States has a huge stake in a strong NATO, and has no authority “collect” what’s “owed” by other nations.

Besides, German spending on global defense isn’t limited to NATO. “There is no account where debts are registered with NATO,” German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement. “Defense spending also goes into U.N. peacekeeping missions, into our European missions and into our contribution to the fight against ISIS terrorism.”

Trump is an international embarrassment. I want to assure our allies around the world that he doesn’t represent the views of most Americans, and we’re doing everything we can.

He does however represent the views of far too many of us. His brand of shit is a popular brand here: that nasty combination of anti-intellectualism and brutality and hatred is a wide streak in our coat. That’s the real embarrassment.

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