President Donald Trump asked Pentagon officials why America bears the burden of militarily defending Europe, said White House biographer Doug Wead, author of Inside Trump’s White House: The Real Story of His Presidency, in a Wednesday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with hosts Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak.
Mansour invited Wead’s comments on President Donald Trump’s foreign policy approach.
“[Wednesday’s] meeting with NATO is a good example of [Donald Trump’s] style,” replied Wead. “I went into this whole thing suspecting that [Donald Trump] is a lot more calculated than he appears. I felt that way because I worked on senior staff in the White House under George H. W. Bush, and we were a whole lot more calculated than anybody ever suspected.”
Wead continued, “Sure enough, I went in and I found that it was all calculated. Sun Tzu said that chaos brings opportunity, and that’s Trump’s style, so he blows up NATO. … [Donald Trump] uses the argument … he says, ‘It’s our middle class. We’re funding high-speed railways in Germany. We’re rebuilding airports all across France and central Europe. Our middle class is descending into poverty,’ and the media went crazy, [saying], ‘You’re destroying the greatest alliance in history. It’s our strongest defense.’ And the Pentagon came in, the generals met with [Donald Trump], [saying], ‘Sir, these are our friends, sir,’ and Trump is saying, ‘Well, if they’re our friends, why do they lie to us? Why do they sign a document promising this percentage they’ll give, and they don’t give it. Why does our middle class have to pay for their defense and to clean up their environment?'”
Trump’s critiques of the status quo of NATO’s funding yielded a stronger U.S.-Europe military alliance with more funding, explained Wead.
“So [Donald Trump] blows the whole thing up, and when it’s over, he has raised, now, $100 billion. He only needs $1.6 billion for the wall with Mexico,” Wead said. “He’s raised $100 billion for NATO, $40 billion [of which is] new money from the NATO nations. It’s stronger than it’s ever been before and whoever the next president is after Donald Trump — it doesn’t matter who they are, Democrat or Republican — I guarantee you they’re not going to get in there and refund that money to Germany and to all these countries and say, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry. [Donald Trump] was such a Philistine trying to make you pay what you promised.'”
Wead added, “So that’s typical of Donald Trump. He doesn’t want taxpayers somewhere in North Dakota paying for high-speed railways in Germany.”
Trump added an economic focus to the CIA’s intelligence gathering previously absent, added Wead.
“One other thing … that [the Trump administration] did differently with the CIA, [is that Donald Trump] demanded more information from the CIA than they were giving in their daily brief,” Wead stated. “He wanted information about trade and about economics that they were not giving. They did get complete economic numbers, but he wanted more. It was insufficient. So while he was getting a lot of minutiae and a lot of detail on terrorism and on other things that he tended to delegate, he didn’t feel that he was getting enough on economics.”
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Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.