Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Leaky, Leaky

It was a simple sentence. Just 27 words.

“We face many threats, but I stand here before you with a clear message: the U.S. commitment to the NATO alliance and to Article 5 is unwavering.”

This was what President Donald Trump was supposed to say in his May 25 address to NATO leaders in Brussels as a way of reassuring them about his evolving views toward the European collective-security pact that he once dismissed as “obsolete.” A senior administration source today provided me the language from the deleted sentence, which was part of the final version of the speech signed off on by the Pentagon on May 23; the National Security Council and State Department approved similar language.

But Trump, as I reported Monday, did not say it.


Had Trump said the missing sentence—or any reference at all to Article 5 and the American commitment to it—he would have avoided a major headache with Western allies and hours of what aides are openly calling “cleanup duty” on the part of top advisers including Vice President Mike Pence, national security adviser H.R. McMaster, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and others.

But that wouldn't be tRump, would it?

He revels in causing other people consternation - even his own people.
Pence, for example, appeared at a gala ceremony Monday night in Washington, held by the Atlantic Council to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Marshall Plan to rebuild postwar Europe, and touted both America’s involvement in NATO and celebrated its newest member, the small Balkan country of Montenegro whose membership was finalized at the controversial Brussels meeting where Trump spoke.
And whose president tRump shoved aside to bully his way to the front of the photo op.
Asked again if the line was taken out of the speech, Spicer said, "The broader point is the president remains entirely committed to NATO and all of the articles not just Article 5.”
All articles matter.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

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