The tweet/debunk cycle continues

Donald Trump sulked during his media conference with Angela Merkel and waiting until he was in the ‘safety’ of his twittersphere before taking a swipe at Germany.

Trying to circumvent unfavourable media coverage by tweeting directly to his base audience is one thing.

But dirty diplomacy is another. He is looking like a gutless keyboard warrior.

And as has become common the challenges to his claims have flowed.

NZ Herald: German Defense Ministry contradicts Trump, says it doesn’t owe US money for NATO

President Donald Trump’s Saturday tweet accusing Germany of owing the United States “vast sums of money” for NATO might have been an attempt to put pressure on the European ally. But Berlin has rejected his claim while also questioning his understanding of NATO finances.

Yesterday, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen called the criticism “inaccurate,” without mentioning the president’s name.

“NATO does not have a debt account,” von der Leyen said, according to her ministry. In reality, NATO has only a small logistical budget, which relies on funding by all member states. The vast majority of NATO members’ total resources are managed domestically, however.

And:

The criticism echoed other experts, including former US ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder. “Trump’s comments misrepresent the way NATO functions,” Daalder told The Washington Post on Saturday. “The president keeps saying that we need to be paid by the Europeans for the fact that we have troops in Europe or provide defense there. But that’s not how it works.”

Trump is not  just gutless, he is also often inaccurate.

Leave a comment

44 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  March 20, 2017

    That is just plain dumb silly. It’s not a question of explaining how Nato’s finances work because that is exactly what Trump is complaining about and is demanding change.

    Reply
    • Trump is tweeting stupid claims.

      Reply
      • David

         /  March 20, 2017

        Please explain what is stupid about it? The US provides the vast majority of NATO’s military capacity, Germany almost none. That looks like a debt to me.

        Reply
        • David

           /  March 20, 2017

          Exactly, which is the point Trump was making in his tweet and has made numerus times in numerous speeches and he told merkel that at the meeting. Its nothing more than deflection to twist this to say Trump doesnt understand NATO,s accounting system.
          The US gets very little benefit Europe does and Germany is constantly dragging the chain on its commitments, Obama gave them a serve over it too. Trump and the US taxpayers are tired of being called upon to do most of the heavy lifting but no one has stepped up yet and Trump was clear either you do or we will send you a bill as per his campaign promise.

          Reply
    • Joe Bloggs

       /  March 20, 2017

      “It’s not a question of explaining how Nato’s finances work because that is exactly what Trump is complaining about ”

      Trouible is, Alan, that trump’s complaints demonstrate he has no idea how the NATO alliance works and no idea how funding NATO works.

      trump’s demanding changes to a funding process he simply doesn’t understand – now that’s the real PLAIN DUMB SILLY

      Reply
      • David

         /  March 20, 2017

        “Trouible is, Alan, that trump’s complaints demonstrate he has no idea how the NATO alliance works and no idea how funding NATO works.”

        You, very painfully, do not understand how NATO works.

        Reply
        • Joe Bloggs

           /  March 20, 2017

          seriously? Is that all you can come up with? Take off the rose-tinted glasses.

          The former US Permanent Representative on NATO, Ivo Daalder, agrees with me… so what does that mean? He very painfully doesn’t understand how NATO works either?

          The German Defence Minister, Ursula von der Leyen, agrees with me… so she doesn’t understand how NATO works either?

          FFS, grow up David.

          Reply
          • David

             /  March 21, 2017

            “The German Defence Minister, Ursula von der Leyen, agrees with me… so she doesn’t understand how NATO works either?”

            Correct, she does not.

            “FFS, grow up David.”

            A grown up understands that when you have a defense treaty between nations, and one nation carries all the costs and responsibilities, there will come a point when they seriously question the value they get from that defense treaty.

            Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  March 20, 2017

        Pathetic b.s., Joe. The only way NATO “works” is that it depends entirely on the US. Trump understands that perfectly well even if you and others pretend not to.

        Reply
    • artcroft

       /  March 20, 2017

      Really? Donald has put forward a detailed proposal for changes to NATO, or just issued a tweet? And has he managed to to get NATO to sign on these new policies or has he done a Mexico and just announced them without consultation.

      Let me answer for you. He has done nothing but send a tweet without any work, consultation or forethought.

      And when an international emergency arises the Orange One, who has no credibility will try to lead but will find coalition building very difficult. (much like trying to get that Healthcare Bill enacted)

      Worst president ever!

      Reply
      • David

         /  March 20, 2017

        What is the purpose of a coalition? Germany and most of Europe have no significant military capacity, what advantage does a coalition with them bring to Trump?

        Reply
        • artcroft

           /  March 20, 2017

          “What is the purpose of a coalition? Germany and most of Europe have no significant military capacity.”
          Evidence please.

          Reply
          • David

             /  March 20, 2017

            Europe’s military capacity…..

            Reply
            • artcroft

               /  March 20, 2017

              Just repeating an assertion doesn’t make it true. You need some evidence. Maybe you and Donald could take a remedial class on this topic.

            • David

               /  March 20, 2017

              What evidence do you want exactly?

              The German Air Force, for example, has a serviceability rate of less than 40%, that gives them the ability to deploy, maybe, 60 combat aircraft. For the helicopters, it’s as low as 10%.

              It’s the same all across Europe, the actual war-fighting capacity is almost zero. A single US carrier battlegroup has more actual capacity than almost the entire EU.

              Another good example is NATO’s training effort in Afghanistan, repeated calls for NATO members to provide more support resulted in an average of 18 soldiers per member, and all came with extensive rules of engagement that mostly prevented them from doing anything much at all.

              The actual military capacity of Europe, certainly compared the the US, is just about zero. The UK is the only European county (if you count it as European) that has any ability to sustain a military effort.

            • David

               /  March 20, 2017

              Just to add some extra fun numbers from the German Army,

              Between 2007 and 2010 they sold off 90% of their tanks, 80% of their IFV’s, 90% of artillery and more than 50% of their helicopters, and most of the remaining ones can’t fly.

              So much for the Russian threat eh?

  2. David

     /  March 20, 2017

    This is epic missing the point. What Trump is saying is that Germany gets far more out of NATO than it puts in. Germany spends very little on defense simply because it can rely on the US to provide for it. That is the debt.

    Jumping around trying to fact check this based on transactions into and out of the NATO bank account is moronic. Anyone who thinks Trump is the stupid one is this has jumped the shark.

    Reply
    • Joe Bloggs

       /  March 20, 2017

      bullshit – this goes beyond financial transactions

      In the words of Ivo Daalder: “US does provide large military commitment to NATO. But this is not a favor to Europe. It is vital for our own [American] security, … we fought two world wars in Europe, and one cold war. Keeping Europe whole, free, and at peace, is vital to US interests.”

      Reply
      • David

         /  March 20, 2017

        Trump is renegotiating that deal. He very clearly does not accept the defense of Germany has being worth the current cost and Germany needs to pony up either in cash or capacity.

        Reply
        • Joe Bloggs

           /  March 20, 2017

          You clearly don’t understand how NATO works. Read Daalder’s explanation.

          trump’s idiocy on this is painfully evident to all except his cultists.

          Reply
          • David

             /  March 20, 2017

            1. Trump is saying he won’t contribute very much at all anymore.
            2. Trump is saying not any longer, pony up.
            3. Trump is saying not good enough.
            4. Only at a rate that see’s them meeting 2% spending around the year 2670
            5. Trump isn’t betting on that, nor would I.
            6. Exactly Trumps point. Do so, or pay for the US to provide it.
            7. Trump is saying this is no longer the case.
            8. Maybe in 1945 it was. The world has changed.
            9. The vast majority of members are not contributing their fair share now are they?

            Trumps view on NATO; Dumb Deal! Obsolete!

            The fact you can’t see this is baffling.

            Reply
    • I think that a number of Trump’s comments and actions are stupid, inflammatory and dangerous.

      Reply
      • David

         /  March 20, 2017

        Trump was elected, to a large degree, by people who want him to shake things up. He is delivering.

        Reply
        • He is shaking things up but he isn’t delivering much yet. It takes time and a lot of effort to deliver in the US political system. It will be years before we know if Trump has managed to deliver on his promises or not.

          Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  March 20, 2017

        We know you think that and we disagree with you. And we think this particular criticism is just dumb – it’s so far missing the point it’s just disingenuous.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  March 20, 2017

          His argument is ridiculous and ignorant.

          I will freely confess to wishing that Germany had been crushed and ruined after WWII, but for whatever reason that seemed like a good idea at the time, it wasn’t. But Trump’s statements are unbelievably stupid. You don’t enter into an ‘everyone contribute what they can’ agreement and then demand payment because you have more members and can put more in than someone else.

          He looked like a sulky child in the meeting with Angela Merkel. You can’t make me play nicely, so nyah, nyah. He must have been a horrible child.

          Reply
          • David

             /  March 20, 2017

            “You don’t enter into an ‘everyone contribute what they can’ agreement and then demand payment because you have more members and can put more in than someone else.”

            They have the ability to put in vastly more. They do not because they choose to spend it on other things.

            Germany, Belgium, Canada, Italy & Spain all spend around half what they are required to under the agreement. If they spend the required 2%, that would be $100bn extra roughly, twice the defense budget of the UK.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  March 20, 2017

              so what,weapons manufacturers don’t care ..who pays…

          • Blazer

             /  March 20, 2017

            the victors learned a lesson after the 1st World War,crushing and ruining Germany,is not a good idea.’McDonaldising them…a much..better …one.

            Reply
    • Blazer

       /  March 20, 2017

      American corporations are the ones that are worried,thats why the U.S has 800 foreign bases and Russia has…2.

      Reply
  3. Joe Bloggs

     /  March 20, 2017

    Sean Kay on trump’s ignorant tweet about NATO:

    I’ve worked on NATO issues or studied them for the better part of 30 years, never seen a more ignorant or uninformed comment about it.

    Reply
  4. Joe Bloggs

     /  March 20, 2017

    More tweet debunking

    – from Devin Nunes, Republican and Chair of the House Intelligence Committee: “Was there a physical wiretap of Trump Tower? No, there never was,” and “clearly the president was wrong”

    – from Richard Burr, Republican and Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee: “we see no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government”

    – from Jeff Sessions, Republican and Attorney General: “Look, the answer is no,”

    – from Bill O’Reilly, Fox News anchor and trump cheerleader: “that is all that it is, insanity”

    – from Joel Pollack, Breitbart News Editor and writer of the fantasy piuece that inspired trump to tweet he’d been wire tapped by Obama: “it was a scenario … lined up to make an argument”

    trump’s own staunchest allies have turned against him… seems he really is the stupidest thing since whatever.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  March 20, 2017

      Well, to be fair, Trumpy said the source of the claim was a talented legal mind – though if a former New Jersey Supreme Court Judge goes to air with outlandish 3rd hand claims from unverified sources you might want to wonder what his talent is in?

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  March 20, 2017

        A talented legal mind, indeed, whose ? His ?

        Perhaps the person HAD a talented legal mind-until they lost it.

        Reply
  5. Pete Kane

     /  March 20, 2017

    This will be fun tomorrow , our time – FBI Director James Comey to testify before Congress.

    Reply
    • MaureenW

       /  March 20, 2017

      From what I have read, the Democrats have no evidence of any Trump/Russia link.

      Reply
    • Pete Kane

       /  March 20, 2017

      Blast from the past. For the record I don’t believe for a minute that the ‘agencies’ weren’t monitoring Paul Manafort (and probably Roger Stone), to the Ent Degree.

      Reply
  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  March 20, 2017

    While the media obsess over Trump’s tweets, the Democrats’ mates are out rotting the gullible and inciting violence:
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2017/03/19/the_hate_group_that_incited_the_middlebury_melee_133377.html

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  March 20, 2017

      Rorting not rotting.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  March 20, 2017

        Murray’s a considerably more controversial character than that article suggests. Also the events around the melee are disputed, some claim his supporters pushed protestors & ran into them with their car. Best to wait & see what comes out of the police investigation & in Court probably, Al.
        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Murray_(political_scientist)

        Why do you think those opposed to Murray’s views being heard are all Democrats’ mates?

        Re Trumpy’s tweets, it’s a bit chicken & egg isn’t it? Trumpy obsesses over unfavourable media coverage, or anything he doesn’t like, or sny miscief he ants to stir up, so he tweets, then he obsesses over the coverage, so he tweets, rinse & repeat.

        Reply

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