U.S. President Donald Trump has rejected criticism his approval ratings in foreign countries are low, pointing out that he was elected by the United States, and if he pursued policies that were popular in European capitals he’d be failing in his job as President.
The comments came during Tuesday”s cabinet meeting at the White House, where the President sat with a stylised Game of Thrones-style poster highlighting his warning to Iran that “Sanctions are Coming”.
President Trump said: “I shouldn’t be popular in Europe. I want Europe to pay. I don’t care about Europe. I’m not elected by Europeans, I’m elected by American taxpayers, frankly.”
Continuing the theme that his job was to serve the U.S., not the voters of other countries, he continued: “If I were popular in Europe, I wouldn’t be doing my job. I could be the most popular person in Europe, I could run for any office if I wanted to, but I don’t want to. I want people to treat us fairly, and they’re not.”
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 8, 2016
The comments came after failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney took to the pages of the globalist Washington Post to attack President Trump, highlighting Pew polling on European public opinion on the American leader.
Responding directly to those comments, the President said Tuesday that if Romney had fought against the Democrats and Obama as hard as he is now fighting the Trump presidency, he would have “won the election” and been President himself in 2012.
Among the subjects of state broached at the table was NATO, a matter of particular interest to the President as he is campaigning to get fellow treaty members to pull their own weight after decades of the U.S. underwriting the alliance’s security.
Trump Blasts Hypocritical Germany as ‘Captive of Russians’ at NATO summit https://t.co/tXeNwg8LMO
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 11, 2018
President Trump’s comment that “I want Europe to pay” was a reference to European allies who enjoy the benefits of NATO membership without paying the two percent minimum of GDP for defence they collectively promise to.
The President again brought up Germany for not doing its part, saying of the economic powerhouse’s defence spending: “Germany pays 1 percent; they should be paying 4 percent.”
President Trump made the small defence budgets of many European nations — and particularly Germany — the main theme of his attendance at the July 2018 NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium.
Attacking Germany’s poor spending and decade-long promised time frame to see any improvement, Trump observed: “Germany is just paying a bit over one percent, whereas the United States is paying in actual numbers 4.2 percent of actual GDP [towards defence].
“We’re paying a lot of money to protect; this has been going on for decades… it’s very unfair to our country, it’s very unfair to our taxpayers… these countries need to step it up, not over a ten-year period, but immediately.”