Trump Trash-Talks NATO

John Reid
Wednesday, July 11th

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

The president of the United States. Has arrived in Brussels just in the last 3040 minutes and conversations beginning. By the NATO summit there are Harry cost C on us is the director of defense studies at the center for the national interest and joins us this morning. Dare I am glad that you're able to join us as this. Summit kicks off. The president has been kind of trash talking NATO for the last several hours as he. I'm prepared to arrive in Brussels what he what do you think their reactions are going to be to this. Well you get married father that has been a number of tweets back and forth with different EU and NATO officials say it on the Lamar polls sort of being hit back a little bit. But I you know I am I think and it comes rhetoric but I am a fan of of what he's trying to do you and that's it's simple neither does not spend enough for their own common defense. You know they're all aligned with one mission and that I think it's probably deter Russia so they don't do things like. You know invading countries are are sort of doing real things that Russia likes to do. But they don't spend enough I think about it like that. The Russian economy is worth about one point four trillion dollars but besides that Italy. They're not as superpower that respect it more particular large military. And he just took the combined power of Britain France and Germany. That's fourteen point four trillion so they could build country just got together and spent enough you Russia would be no problem that situation would be largely handle they'd be deterred. But these countries to not spend enough. Great example I encourage anybody listening to go to Google and German air force beat German air force is falling apart. The world maybe it's falling apart this city is extremely sad situation to you might not like the truck rhetoric but he does have the right idea. And it are they living up to their basic obligation of what was it 2% of their GDP that they were supposed to be spending every year and they have not been doing that. Now that they have but the vast majority of NATO countries. They are spending a little bit more since trump came in office I think they get the message loud and clear but a lot of these countries are not. Spending commensurate with that 2% of GDP. And you know what I'm a little bit less worried about 2%. I really more worried about capabilities you know because. 2% sort of a (%expletive) number it did it is important but these countries are so rich that they just spent a little bit more it would be helpful. But you know countries have different priorities you know they wanna spend more social welfare programs. They wanted to spend more on on you know jobs programs and and more things for their populations and societies. And they're not spending more on defense. And I I worry because you know Russia is the declining country but it looked very powerful they still have a lot of the old weaponry of the Cold War. David can't they're needy and a lot of parts of their army and you can see that what happening recruiting a few years ago. I guess would hate to see these countries get flat footed. Because you can't build capabilities over here you know put out new tanks and air complicated World War II months it takes years to say they've got to keep that in mind. We're talking to Harry cuts the honest the director of defense studies at the center for the national interest. So let's talk about the president's final stop on his tour once he gets through this summit today assuming that. That there are no fireworks today he'll be meeting with president prudent on Monday. Solo. Why do you think he is taking this meeting why I have that one on one summit from a communications standpoint my old career. I would say that it did just generates a lot of news stories that are probably counterproductive to what the president. Wants to do domestically is is there something I'm missing here where he needs to have this meeting with prudent. Well I think he wants to show a few things I think the first thing you want to show us that that. If he's not prudent black key and out a lot of people on the left and others criticize and saying you know you want to be too cozy with Russia. If you want to show he's his own man but he has his own independence collided. You know that he is going to be tough. But at the same time look what pieces of who we do need to have some sort of relationship with Russia doesn't have to be a positive point does that mean we're going to be friends your body's. But it does mean we've got a lot to talk about and just going to do just that are on the map and you can see a lot of problems between Washington and Moscow. And we still have a Syrian civil war millions of people displaced. You know hundreds of thousands dead if not more and US and Russian forces are literally staring each other. Across the battlefield and in the air and that could spark a crisis where negotiating that starts happening. We've still got problems in the baltics and still have a problem for Ukraine says these are things that we need to you know rational conversations about. Doesn't mean we have to like each other I mean for a policy is all about working with countries that you don't like but I think it's important need to have nonetheless. But it doesn't sound like he's going in with the same harsh. Attitude towards gluten as the harsh attitude he has towards his own allies that NATO objectively would you agree with that he's. Later IBM cards with a guy. Yeah I mean I can. State similar language a little too rosy when it comes to Russia minute it was me I would have a much tougher approach. I would look at the policies that the different administrations always put out you know there is Obama or property but he out. And this administration in terms of policy has been pretty tough. Remember Obama didn't our Ukraine trump did not dramatically but he did do that he would give up the sanctions and accused super happy about it but he did do that. Until you know what I would put to trial after rhetoric look past the tweet. I mean he never really get to the substance of what's going not and so far I think the administration did a decent job with Russia. I would she would cut back at some of the flowery rhetoric I think you do that is to negotiate tactical broad European allies. I personally wouldn't do that I think that's what his strategy is. Are well maybe we'll talk to you on Tuesday of next week let's see how this meeting goes and what the fallout or maybe maybe there's something positive will come out of an eerie counting on us director of defense studies at the center for the national interest. Always appreciate when you can be on the program thanks and.