Offbeat McCain rips Trump: NATO actions 'disappointing' but not surprising

20:52  12 july  2018
20:52  12 july  2018 Source:   thehill.com

Trump says added NATO funds not enough for U.S.

  Trump says added NATO funds not enough for U.S. U.S. President Donald Trump said his efforts had pushed other NATO countries to contribute more to the Western defense alliance but it was still not enough to offset the burden on U.S. taxpayers. "Over the last year, about $40 billion more has been given by other countries to help NATO but that's not nearly enough," Trump told reporters ahead of a NATO summit in Brussels."The United States is spending far too much and other countries are not paying enough, especially some."This has been going on for decades and it is disproportionate and not fair to the taxpayers of the United States and we're going to make it fair.

McCain called President Trump 's appearance this week at the NATO summit " disappointing , yet ultimately unsurprising." "It is up to President Trump to hold Putin accountable for his actions during the meeting in Helsinki," McCain said.

Their feud dates back at least as long as the early days of Trump 's 2015 presidential campaign, when McCain called Trump supporters "crazies" and Trump questioned McCain 's valor in Vietnam. He ripped hip-hop star Jay-Z for using profanity, including the "F" word, at a rally for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

John McCain wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera © Provided by The Hill

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Thursday blasted President Trump's rhetoric at the NATO summit, calling it "disappointing" and not representative of the United States.

"There is little use in parsing the president's misstatements and bluster, except to say that they are the words of one man. Americans, and their Congress, still believe in the transatlantic alliance and [NATO], and it is clear that our allies still believe in us as well," McCain said in a statement.

The Arizona Republican, who is absent from Washington as he battles brain cancer, added that Trump's "performance" in Brussels was "disappointing, yet ultimately unsurprising."

Senate overwhelmingly passes resolution supporting NATO as Trump attacks continue

  Senate overwhelmingly passes resolution supporting NATO as Trump attacks continue Lawmakers on Tuesday overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution supporting NATO, as President Trump continues to criticize members. The measure expresses the Senate's support for the body and calls on negotiators to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to NATO.The 97-2 vote in the Senate comes as Trump heads to Brussels for the NATO summit. He will also travel to the UK and meet one-on-one with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki during his trip.GOP Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee voted against the measure, according to Defense News.Democratic Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.) proposed the measure, calling the U.S. support for NATO "ironclad.

But it’s the North Atlantic Treaty Organization ( NATO ) – the two-day summit and organization – that have been the subject of Trump ’s Twitter feed in recent weeks. Ahead of the trip, Sen. John McCain , R-Ariz., reaffirmed an “overwhelming bipartisan support in the Congress for the transatlantic alliance.”

But it’s the North Atlantic Treaty Organization ( NATO ) – the two-day summit and organization – that have been the subject of Trump ’s Twitter feed in recent weeks. Ahead of the trip, Sen. John McCain , R-Ariz., reaffirmed an “overwhelming bipartisan support in the Congress for the transatlantic alliance.”

Trump sparked disbelief among European allies for his rhetoric at the summit, including his brief war of words with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Trump said Germany was "captive" to Russia, citing an energy pipeline, and used the summit to repeat calls for allies to increase their defense spending.

Congress took symbolic shots at Trump's rhetoric this week, with the House passing a resolution supporting NATO and the Senate using a procedural vote to signal its support.

Trump traveled to the United Kingdom after the NATO summit on Thursday and is expected to meet next week with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

McCain added that Trump must "reverse his disturbing tendency to show America's adversaries the deference and esteem" that should be reserved for allies. And noting that the world will be watching the one-on-one meeting, he urged Trump to be "strong and tough" against Putin.

"It is up to President Trump to hold Putin accountable for his actions during the meeting in Helsinki. Failure to do so would be a serious indictment of his stewardship of American leadership in the world," he said.

Trump won't rule out ceasing military exercises if Putin asks .
President Donald Trump capped off his dramatic appearance at the annual NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium, on Thursday by teasing another controversial possibility, saying he would not rule out ceasing NATO military exercises in the Baltic States if Russian leader Vladimir Putin requested it during their upcoming meeting in Helsinki, Finland. Asked if he would cancel them, Trump said, "Perhaps we'll talk about that," referring to Putin, a response that has only fueled the the growing uncertainty over the state of the alliance.

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