Just returned from Europe. Trip was a great success for America. Hard work but big results!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 28, 2017
President Donald Trump just returned from his first NATO and G-7 summit in Europe and called the trip a “great success” — completely disregarding all the side-eyes, unexpected snubs and tense handshakes that occurred during his visit, sending the internet and the world media into a spin.
The U.S. commander-in-chief’s first foreign trip since assuming office had several controversial moments. For starters, he openly criticized NATO countries for not paying “their fair share,” allegedly said Germans were “very bad” and that he wanted to stop importing their cars, and refused to endorse the historic Paris climate change agreement, insisting he would decide upon it next week.
I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2017
Seeing as Trump thinks he can pretty much get away with anything in his country, be it the FBI’s probe into his team’s connections with Russia or his own racist rhetoric, only by calling it “fake” on social media, he probably did not realize his actions at the summit could have dire consequences.
Case in point: Shortly after the summit concluded, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who enjoyed a warm relationship with former President Barack Obama but did not seem to start on the right foot with his successor, told the world that Europe cannot rely on its longtime ally, America.
Though she did not explicitly mentioned Trump’s name, it was rather clear what she meant.
“The times in which we could completely depend on others are, to a certain extent, over,” the German leader told an election rally held in a Bavarian beer tent in Munich. “I’ve experienced that in the last few days. We Europeans truly have to take our fate into our own hands, of course in friendship with the United States and in friendship with Great Britain and as good neighbors wherever it is possible, also with Russia and also with all the other countries.”
Her words illustrate a widening drift between Washington, D.C., and European capitals, which is an enormous change in political rhetoric.
It is also important to note that Trump supported Great Britain’s decision to exit the European Union, a move that did not earn him any points in the eyes of European nations.
“But we need to know that we have to fight for our own future and destiny as Europeans,” Merkel said.
Merkel saying Europe cannot rely on others & needs to take matters into its own hands is a watershed-& what US has sought to avoid since WW2— Richard N. Haass (@RichardHaass) May 28, 2017
A profound headine: "Merkel: Europe 'can no longer rely on allies' after Trump and Brexit." It's a strategic weakness in the Atlantic region— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) May 28, 2017
Merkel's comments today are a reminder that Trump's failures are, while he's president, also America's failure, and damage America.— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) May 28, 2017
Merkel says the postwar western alliance had been undermined by the #Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s election. She's right.— Graham Simpson (@grahambsi) May 29, 2017
It only took Merkel three days with Trump to come to such an important conclusion.
If you are wondering why, you might want to check out the video below that shows the U.S. president sitting idly while the rest of the NATO leaders listened to translations through the provided headphones at the summit.
Of course, White Press Secretary Sean Spicer came to his boss’ rescue with this tweet: