Monday, May 29, 2017

Trump Convinces Europe's Leaders He Can't Be Trusted

(Photo of Angela Merkel and Donald Trump, from Talking Points Memo, is by Evian Vucci of the AP.

Donald Trump's recent trip abroad was supposed to make him look presidential, and like a world leader. Unfortunately it had the opposite effect.

The trip went way downhill when he spoke to NATO. All the European members of NATO wanted to hear was that the United States would honor article 5 of the NATO treaty -- the article that says if any member is attacked, then all the other members would come to their defense. In the past, all American presidents have assured Europeans that America could be trusted to come to their defense.

But Trump didn't do that. He chewed most of them out, but never said the U.S. would honor article 5. He left the NATO members with the impression that the United States might not come to their aid when needed.

Then he went on to the G-7 conference. At that conference, six of the members wanted to discuss how to further their fight against global climate change. One didn't -- Donald Trump. In fact, Trump even refused to assure them that the United States would honor the Paris global climate change accord. He left them with the impression that the U.S. was getting ready to pull out of the Paris accord -- which would be disastrous for those wanting to curb global climate change (since the U.S. is the largest user of fossil fuels and the world's biggest polluter).

Republicans can try to tell themselves that Trump's trip was a success, but they are just deluding themselves when they do. The truth is that all Trump accomplished was to convince our best allies that he cannot be trusted -- either as an ally or a world leader.

The trip was an unmitigated disaster, and it left the world a more chaotic and more dangerous place.

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