In the last few days, President Trump has stood on the world stage and demanded reforms that would be devastating to Russia and Putin.
In short, President Trump:
- Called for Germany to end its support for a key Putin-backed pipeline that would dramatically increase Europe’s dependence on Russian energy.
- Once again, strongly urged European allies to meet their NATO defense spending commitments.
Both of these positions have been supported by Democrats in the past. But when President Trump takes them, he is somehow being “more loyal to President Putin than to our NATO allies,” and show how he is “drifting towards Russia.”
It’s completely nonsensical.
Were NATO members to meet the 2% of GDP defense spending threshold President Trump is calling for (about $100 billion in new spending), that additional amount alone would be more than Russia’s entire annual military spending budget.
And if Russia were blocked from building a new pipeline through the Baltic Sea, their influence over eastern Europe would be severely weakened.
But Dems refuse to let the facts get in the way of their Russia, Russia, Russia narrative.
See more here and below from RNC Research:
Dem Hypocrisies And Obfuscations Abound During The NATO Summit
DURING THE 2018 NATO SUMMIT, DEMOCRATS EXCORIATED PRESIDENT TRUMP FOR PURSUING THE VERY SAME TOUGH ON RUSSIA POLICIES THEY SUPPORT
Democrats Were Outraged That President Trump Warned Germany Of The Dangers Of Supporting Russia's Ambitions To Create A Second Baltic Sea Gas Pipeline
On July 11, 2018, At The NATO Summit, President Donald Trump Criticized Germany For Supporting A Baltic Sea Gas Pipeline That Would Pay Out Billions Of Dollars To Russia. "'When Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia,' Trump said to Stoltenberg. 'We're supposed to be guarding against Russia and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia. 'We're protecting Germany, we're protecting France, we're protecting all of these countries. And then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they're paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia. 'So we're supposed to protect you against Russia and you pay billions of dollars to Russia and I think that's very inappropriate,' Trump said at the residence of the U.S. ambassador in Brussels." (Jeff Mason, "Trump Lashes Germany Over Gas Pipeline Deal, Calls It Russia's 'Captive,'" Reuters , 7/12/18)
- The President Made The Remarks In Reference To The Nord Stream 2 Natural Gas Pipeline Which Would Link Russia And Germany. "President Donald Trump may have just made Nord Stream 2 a household name. Ahead of a NATO meeting, the president blasted the German government on Wednesday for backing the new natural gas pipeline link from Russia to Germany." (Tom DiChristopher, "Behind Nord Stream 2: The Russia-To-Germany Gas Pipeline That Fueled Trump's Anger At NATO Meeting," CNBC , 7/11/18)
Democratic Leaders Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) And Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Released A Joint Statement Condemning President Trump's Warning And Accused The President Of The "Denigration Of One Of America's Most Steadfast Allies." "President Trump's brazen insults and denigration of one of America's most steadfast allies, Germany, is an embarrassment." (Press Release, "Pelosi, Schumer Joint Statement On Trump-Putin Summit," Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer & Minority House Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi , 7/11/18)
Former Obama Secretary Of State John Kerry Said The President's Comments On The Pipeline Were "Disgraceful, Destructive, And [Fly] In The Face Of The Actual Interests Of The United States." "I've never seen a President say anything as strange or counterproductive as President Trump's harangue against NATO and Germany. It was disgraceful, destructive, and flies in the face of the actual interests of the United States of America." (John Kerry, Twitter Feed , 7/11/18)
But This Criticism Is Puzzling Given Democrats Once Openly Opposed The Same Nord Stream 2 Pipeline President Trump Condemned
In 2016, Secretary Of State, John Kerry Said He Was "Absolutely" Convinced The Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Would "Have An Adverse Impact On Ukraine, On Slovakia, And Eastern Europe." KERRY: "And we're also going to discuss one other specific issue of deep concern to me and to everybody here, and I think that's the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. This project has provoked a very heated debate on both sides of the Atlantic, and we are convinced would absolutely have an adverse impact on Ukraine, on Slovakia, and Eastern Europe. And we cannot lose sight of that." (Secretary Of State, Remarks With EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz , Washington D.C., 5/4/16)
Vice President Joe Biden Called The Nord Stream 2 Pipeline A "Fundamentally Bad Deal For Europe," And Said It Would "Fundamentally Destabilize Ukraine." BIDEN: "No country should be able to use energy to coerce policies from other nations or actions, and speaking for ourselves, speaking for the United States, Nord Stream 2 pipeline, we think, is a fundamentally bad deal for Europe. My colleagues joke with me when I say never tell another man a woman what's in their interest, but I can tell you from our perspective, it looks like a fairly bad deal, and I know you're going to examine it with the rest of your colleagues in Europe as well. Europe needs diverse sources of gas, not in our view, Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and it's a lock in greater alliance with Russia at this moment… I think risk… I know it will fundamentally destabilize Ukraine, where you have led in trying to respond to the aggression on a part of Russia and their reluctance to enforce Minsk 2 to which they have agreed to thus far." (Joe Biden, Remarks By Vice President Joe Biden In Sweden , Stockholm, Sweden, Accessed 8/25/16)
On March 15, 2018, Eleven Democratic Senators Signed A Letter Opposing The Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Saying It Would Undermine The E.U.'s Energy Security And "Reinforce Russia's Monopoly As A Natural Gas Supplier In The Region." "This expensive and unnecessary project would force Gazprom's customers to pay for a project that would further reinforce Russia's near monopoly as a natural gas supplied to the region." (Bipartisan Group Of Senators, Letter To Secretary Of The Treasury Steve Mnuchin And Deputy Secretary Of State John Sullivan , 3/15/18)
- In The Letter, The Senators Urged The Administration To "Utilize All Of The Tools At Its Disposal To Prevent Its Construction" Saying The Pipeline Would "Make American Allies And Partners More Susceptible To Moscow's Coercion And Malign Influence." "We oppose Nord Stream II and urge the administration to utilize all of the tools at its disposal to prevent tis construction. Senior level outreach by both of you to the leaders of the European Union nations affected by an involved with this disastrous proposal is critical to ensuring Nord Stream II is not completed. Nord Stream II, which follows the route of the Nord Stream I pipeline from Russia across the Baltic Sea to Germany, will make American allies and partners in Europe more susceptible to Moscow's coercion and malign influence." (Bipartisan Group Of Senators, Letter To Secretary Of The Treasury Steve Mnuchin And Deputy Secretary Of State John Sullivan , 3/15/18)
- Democratic Senators Blumenthal (D-CT), Baldwin (D-WI), Durbin (D-IL), Heitkamp (D-ND), Klobuchar (D-MN), Manchin (D-WV), Merkley (D-OR), Reed (D-RI), Shaheen (D-NH), Van Hollen (D-MD), And Whitehouse (D-RI) All Signed Onto The Letter. (Bipartisan Group Of Senators, Letter To Secretary Of The Treasury Steve Mnuchin And Deputy Secretary Of State John Sullivan , 3/15/18)
Following President Trump's Renewed Calls That Our NATO Allies Must Meet Their Spending Commitments, Democrats Claimed The President Had Abdicated
"U.S. Global Leadership"
At The NATO Summit, President Trump Renewed His Call For NATO Allies To Meet Their Spending Commitments To The Alliance . "Trump renewed his call for other NATO allies to pay in more to the Western alliance after years in which U.S. taxpayers have, he said, borne an 'unfair' share of military spending. 'I think these countries have to step it up, not over a 10 year period, they have to step it up immediately. Germany is a rich country, they talk about increasing it a tiny bit by 2030. Well they could increase it immediately, tomorrow, and have no problem,' Trump said." (Jeff Mason, "Trump Lashes Germany Over Gas Pipeline Deal, Calls It Russia's 'Captive,'" Reuters , 7/12/18)
- In 2006, All NATO Members Committed To Spend At Least 2% Of Their GDP On Defense Expenditures. NATO SPOKESMAN JAMES APPATHURAI: "Finally, I should add that Allies through the comprehensive political guidance have committed to endeavor, to meet the 2% target of GDP devoted to defense spending." (Press Release, "Press Briefing Following The Meeting Of The North Atlantic Council At The Level Of Defense Ministers," NATO, 6/8/06)
Following President Trump's Calls, Kerry Said The President's Pressure On NATO Allies "Undermined Our Interests" And Diminished The NATO Alliance. "The President set America back this morning. He is steadily destroying our reputation in the world. He is undermining our interests. He diminishes alliances we built to safeguard an economic and strategic force that has allowed millions of people to live in freedom." (John Kerry, Twitter Feed , 7/11/18)
Former Obama CIA Director John Brennan Called President Trump "Dangerously Naïve & Grossly Ignorant Of How The World Works." "It is in the interest of America's security if NATO leaders push back against the reckless behavior of Donald Trump, who is dangerously naive & grossly ignorant of how the world works. History inevitably will regard Trump as one of the most disastrous figures of the 21st century." (John Brennan, Twitter Feed , 7/12/18)
Former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice Said That Through Trump's Calls He Was Abdicating U.S. Global Leadership And Had "Sold Out Or Kids, Grandkids & Allies." "Today, we abdicated America's global leadership for the foreseeable future. And, we sold out our kids, grandkids & allies. Nice job, guys! " (Susan Rice, Twitter Feed , 7/11/18)
But These Same Dems Seem To Forget The Obama Administration Also Actively Pressured NATO Allies To Meet Their Commitments
In Remarks On June 3, 2014, President Obama Announced That "Every NATO Member Has To Do Its Fair Share." PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA "That does mean that every NATO member has to do its fair share. Obviously, we all have different capacities. The United States is going to have different capacities than Poland; Poland is going to have a different capacity than Latvia. But everyone has the capacity to do their fair share, to do a proportional amount to make sure that we have the resources, the planning, the integration, the training in order to be effective." (President Barack Obama, Remarks By President Obama And President Komorowski Of Poland In A Joint Press Conference , Warsaw, Poland, 6/3/14)
Obama: "We Have Seen A Decline Steadily In European Defense Spending Generally" And "That Has To Change." OBAMA "But frankly, NATO is very reliant on U.S. capabilities but has not always invested in some joint capabilities that would be important as well. And it's going to require every NATO member to step up. We have seen a decline steadily in European defense spending generally. There are exceptions -- like Poland, like Estonia -- but for the most part, we have seen a steady decline. That has to change." (President Barack Obama, Remarks By President Obama And President Komorowski Of Poland In A Joint Press Conference , Warsaw, Poland, 6/3/14)
Obama: "The United States Is Proud To Bear Its Share Of The Defense Of The Transatlantic Alliance. It Is The Cornerstone Of Our Security. But We Can't Do It Alone." OBAMA: "The United States is proud to bear its share of the defense of the Transatlantic Alliance. It is the cornerstone of our security. But we can't do it alone. And we're going to need to make sure that everybody who is a member of NATO has full membership. They expect full membership when it comes to their defense; then that means that they've also got to make a contribution that is commensurate with full membership." (President Barack Obama, Remarks By President Obama And President Komorowski Of Poland In A Joint Press Conference , Warsaw, Poland, 6/3/14)
Obama Secretary Of State John Kerry: "We Cannot Continue To Allow [NATO] Allied Defense Budgets To Shrink." KERRY: "So to start, we cannot continue to allow allied defense budgets to shrink. Clearly, not all allies are going to meet the NATO benchmark of 2 percent of GDP overnight or even next year. " (Secretary Of State John Kerry, Remarks At The Atlantic Council , Washington, D.C., 4/29/14)
- "But It's Time For Allies Who Are Below That Level To Make Credible Commitments To Increase Their Spending On Defense Over The Next Five Years." KERRY: "But it's time for allies who are below that level to make credible commitments to increase their spending on defense over the next five years." (Secretary Of State John Kerry, Remarks At The Atlantic Council , Washington, D.C., 4/29/14)
- "This Has To Be An Alliance Wide Effort ." KERRY: "And if we're going to move the trend line in a positive direction, this has to be an alliance wide effort." (Secretary Of State John Kerry, Remarks At The Atlantic Council , Washington, D.C., 4/29/14)
DEMOCRATS ARE BLATANTLY IGNORING THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP, THROUGH HIS ACTIONS AT THE NATO SUMMIT, IS ACTIVELY CRACKING DOWN ON RUSSIA
Since President Trump Arrived At The NATO Summit, Democrats Have Claimed He Is Being Weak On Russia
Democratic Leaders Schumer And Pelosi Said President Trump's Comments Opposing The Nord Stream Pipeline Demonstrated His Loyalty To Russian President Vladimir Putin Rather Than NATO Allies. "His behavior this morning is another profoundly disturbing signal that the President is more loyal to President Putin than to our NATO allies." (Press Release, "Pelosi, Schumer Joint Statement On Trump-Putin Summit," Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer & Minority House Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi , 7/11/18)
Former Obama Administration National Security Council Member Ben Rhodes Said President Trump's Actions At The Summit Illustrated How "Putin Has NATO In Disarray." "Putin has NATO in disarray, GOP members of Congress talking down his attack on our democracy, US standing abroad in free fall, and a summit with the US President that will upstage the western alliance. A pretty good return on his investment." (Ben Rhodes, Twitter Feed , 7/11/18)
Former Obama Ambassador To Israel Dan Shapiro Said Trump's Comments Illustrated How "NATO's Most Important Member Is Also Drifting Toward Russia." "Well, since NATO's most important member is also drifting toward Russia, why would he?" (Dan Shapiro, Twitter Feed , 7/11/18)
But By Opposing The Nord Stream Pipeline, President Trump Has "Set Himself Against Putin's Largest Geo-Economic Project"
Donald Trump's Opposition To The Nord Steam Pipeline Is "Widely Shared By European Politicians, Think Tanks, And Energy Specialists." "Donald Trump may have used typically emotive - if premeditated - language from the outset at the NATO summit in Brussels to lambast Germany for its willingness to build a gas pipeline, but the US president's view that this will make Europe particularly dependent on Russian gas is widely shared by European politicians, thinktanks and energy specialists, including some in Berlin." (Patrick Wintour, "Germany And Gas Links: Trump Is Not Only One To Ask Questions, The Guardian , 7/11/18)
The Guardian: By Opposing The Pipeline President Trump "Seems To Set Himself Against Putin's Largest Geo-Economic Project." "By opposing the pipeline, perhaps for an amalgam of US commercial and security reasons, he seems to set himself against Putin's largest geo-economic project. (Patrick Wintour, "Germany And Gas Links: Trump Is Not Only One To Ask Questions, The Guardian , 7/11/18)
When Finished, Nord Stream 2 Would Double Russia's Export Volume To The European Countries, Of Which Germany Is Already Russia's Biggest Export Market. "Germany is indeed Russia's biggest export market in Europe for gas, with a dependency that may grow further once Nord Stream 2 is finished. The project would roughly double Russia's export volume via the Baltic route that goes through the original Nord Stream pipeline." (Rick Noack, "The Russian Pipeline To Germany That Trump Is So Mad About, Explained," The Washington Post , 7/11/18)
Ukraine And Other Eastern European Countries Fear That Western European Partners Reliant On Russia For Natural Gas Will Be Less Vocal To Russian Encroachment On Eastern Europe. "Ukraine and parts of eastern Europe fear their partners to the west may be much less vocal next time if they receive their natural gas through a different set of pipelines, allowing Russia to cut off its unruly neighbors with impunity." (Rick Noack, "The Russian Pipeline To Germany That Trump Is So Mad About, Explained," The Washington Post , 7/11/18)
Moreover, Nord Stream 2 Could Generate Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars In Revenue For The Russian State Oil Company Gazprom. "Although the project would alleviate gas shortages in some of those countries, the added capacity would weaken the position of Ukraine-through which a number of large pipelines now pass-in the European gas market. It is also further dividing the EU between members that favor the project and those that oppose it. What's more, Nord Stream 2 could generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for Gazprom." (Petr Polak, "The Trouble With Nord Stream 2," Foreign Affairs , 8/23/17)
"That Should Trouble Western Officials," Because Gazprom "Effectively Subsidizes Russia's Wars In Easter Ukraine And Syria, Finances Kremlin Propaganda Aimed At Undermining European United, And Lubricates The Machinery Of Anti-European Parties Across The Continent." "That should trouble Western officials, because the company's revenues support Moscow's foreign policies. Gzprom effectively subsidizes Russia's wars in eastern Ukraine and Syria, finances Kremlin propaganda aimed at undermining European unity, and lubricates the machinery of anti-European parties across the continent." (Petr Polak, "The Trouble With Nord Stream 2," Foreign Affairs , 8/23/17)
Through President Trump's Talks With NATO Allies, NATO Allies Have Dramatically Increased Defense Expenditures
Due To President Trump's Pressure, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg Said European Members And Canada Spent 5% More On Defense Last Year Compared To 2016. "NATO's chief says European members and Canada spent a total of almost 5 percent more on defense last year compared to 2016, amid pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to boost military budgets. Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday that eight allies are likely to spend the target NATO benchmark of 2 percent of their GDP on defense this year." ("NATO's Chief Says Allies Are Spending More On Defense, The Associated Press , 03/15/18)
Following President Trump's Calls For Increased Defense Spending At The July NATO Summit, Stoltenberg Called The Summit "Very Good" And Said The President Was "Having A Real Impact" On Defense Spending. CNN's CHRISTINA AMANPOUR: All the allies were concerned and nervous hoping this Summit was not going to devolve into a debacle like the G7 summit did with disunity and pulling out of communiques. How would you say you assessed the unity and the success of this summit? NATO SECRETARY GENERAL JENS STOLTENBERG: This has been a very good summit because actually we have had very open and frank discussions. There's no problem to have different views and open discussions as long as we're able to conclude and deliver decisions. That's exactly what we have done. Yes, there have been different views, we are 29 allies discussing different issues but we have also agreed on how to strengthen NATO with the forces fighting against terrorism, reforming our command structure and we have agreed that we need to spend more, there's a new sense of urgency on the importance of investing in our defense. AMANPOUR: So let's take that urgency. President trump as we know and we saw publicly throughout the summit keeps demanding 2%. He not only demanded 2%. He demanded more to happen almost immediate rather than 2024 as you NATO allies agreed. So has President Trump secured a pledge from NATO allies to immediately start spending more, up to 4%? Have the allies agreed specifically to figures demanded by the president today? STOLTENBERG: The allies have heard his message loud and clear and his strong message on defense spending is having a real impact, just since last time president trump was here in Brussels at the NATO meetings last May, European allies have added $41 billion extra for defense funding so we have turned the corner. Before the trend was down and now the trend is going up all allies agree that we have to make good on the commitments we have made and increased defense spending. (CNN's "Newsroom," 7/12/18)
Following The Summit, The NATO Countries Signed A Communique Strongly Condemning Russia And Reinforcing That NATO Unity And Solidarity "Are Stronger Than Ever," And That All NATO Countries "Will Take All Necessary Steps To Ensure Our Collective Defense." "We face a dangerous, unpredictable, and fluid security environment, with enduring challenges and threats from all strategic directions; from state and non-state actors; from military forces; and from terrorist, cyber, and hybrid attacks. Russia's aggressive actions, including the threat and use of force to attain political goals, challenge the Alliance and are undermining Euro-Atlantic security and the rules-based international order. Instability and continuing crises across the Middle East and North Africa are fueling terrorism. They also contribute to irregular migration and human trafficking. The ongoing crisis in Syria has a direct effect on the stability of the region and the security of the Alliance as a whole. We face hybrid challenges, including disinformation campaigns and malicious cyber activities. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and advanced missile technology also continues to threaten the security of our nations. In light of all this, our unity and solidarity are stronger than ever; we will take all necessary steps to ensure our collective defense." (Press Release, "Brussels Summit Declaration," NATO , 7/11/18)