Real Leadership, Real Statesmanship: President Trump at NATO


Trump and StoltenbergWhile lots of us engage in the guilty pleasure of watching selective clips of our favorite Congressional actors in the latest kabuki theater, we might profit more from considering some of the sights and sounds coming from the NATO 70th anniversary meeting of heads of state. I especially invite your attention to two official videos, one of President Trump meeting before the press with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, and the other of the “2 Percenters” lunch meeting. Relevant excerpts from the transcripts appear below.*

Watch two mature adults have a real discussion before a real press corps. Notice that President Trump is defending NATO as a useful vehicle for the mutual defense of nations’ interests. Consider that Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is the former Prime Minister of Norway, not a career eurocrat. Listen to both men deal carefully with both the nature of threats and the natural disagreements even among friendly nations, where each nation operates from its own interests. President Trump says: “I love that you say that NATO is changing as the world is changing.” See Stoltenberg emphasis that NATO members have (under pressure from President Trump) made over 100 billion dollars worth of increases in military defense spending. Watch both men address the challenges of both China and Islamist terrorism.

Coming from a position of renewed resolve, shown in increased military defense spending, President Trump and the NATO Secretary-General both say that talking with Russia is important. President Trump may have made news at the end of the meeting with his confirmation that there is mutual interest in a new arms control agreement including not only Russia but also China. Secretary-General Stoltenberg affirmed that President Trump was right to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, because Russia violated it and we cannot have meaningful agreements where one party violates the terms. President Trump then coolly laid out the prospect of a new deal that addresses current realities, including the newest ICBM and high speed cruise missile forces in China.

President Trump made a point of praising eight other NATO member nations who have lived up to their commitments to spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on their own national defense. He hosted a lunch, partially on camera, to highlight the national leaders who are actually serious about their own nations’ sovereignty and a strong NATO. He called them “the 2 Percenters” and said “these are the countries who are fully paid up (like membership dues). President Trump’s loud and consistent pressure, from the beginning of his term, framed in terms of fairness and self-respect, has helped these leaders buy more guns while their neighbor, Germany, is busy doling out butter.

Look at the real economic, military, and diplomatic threat created by another German leader cutting another deal with another Russian leader. Consider that President Trump highlighted the Germany-Russia problem last year with Secretary General Stoltenberg. Reflect back on Trump’s lecture to NATO nations’ leaders two years ago, scolding them like delinquent school children while Secretary General Stoltenberg stood behind him. Look at the tangible positive results of some consistent tough love for NATO. Think about why President Trump signed a symbolic bill supporting Hong Kong’s rights and challenging Beijing to live up to its agreement, where he vetoed similar measures aimed at the Middle East. Note how coolly he is playing the trade deal with China, emphasizing over and over that China wants a deal and he can wait until it is right. Consider, in that context, that China now is second only to America in military spending, funded by the current trade agreements.

Now, with all of that, notice how the same pack of “experts” who had the vapors over President Reagan’s conventional and nuclear policies have reacted to President Trump from the moment he won in November 2016. Consider how much further they have transgressed on our Constitution this time, egged on with not so veiled calls for “resistance” within the executive branch to the only man with legitimate constitutional authority. Let’s get really real: how does Mattis look now?

* Excerpts from remarks by President Trump and NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg after 1:1 meeting [emphasis added]:

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, thank you very much.  It’s a great honor to be with Secretary General Stoltenberg of NATO.  This is our first meeting, meaning my first meeting of this trip.  But we’ve met many times.

I think he’s doing a fantastic job.  I’m a big fan.  His contract was extended; I was very happy about that.  But you really are — you’re doing a fantastic job.  We appreciate it.

I think the Secretary General will tell you that, through some work and some negotiation, we’ve increased the budget of countries other than the USA, because we’re paying far more than anybody else, and far more even as a percentage of GDP.  But we’ve increased the numbers that other countries are paying, by $130 billion.  It was going down for close to 20 years.  If you look at a chart, it was like a rollercoaster down, nothing up.  And that was going on for a long time.  You wouldn’t have had a NATO if you kept going that way.

And now we’ve really increased it incredibly well, and I’m happy to have helped.  But the Secretary has been looking to do that for a long time.  And, I can tell you, he’s very happy about it.


SECRETARY GENERAL STOLTENBERG:  Thank you so much, Mr. President.  It’s good to see you again, and I’m looking forward to celebrate the 70th anniversary of our alliance together with all the other leaders, today and tomorrow.

We are making real progress, most importantly on the burden sharing.  And your leadership on defense spending is having a real impact.  Since 2016, Canada and European allies have added $130 billion more to the defense budgets, and this number will increase to 400 billion U.S. dollars by 2024.

This is unprecedented.  This is making NATO stronger.  And it shows that this Alliance is adapting, responding when the world is changing.

We will, of course, also address a wide range of other issues, including the fight against terrorism, arms control, our relationship with Russia, the rise of China.  And NATO is the most successful alliance in history because we have been able to change when the world is changing.  That’s exactly what we are doing again.  And the fact is that we are doing more together in this Alliance now than we have done for many decades.

So, once again, thank you for your leadership and your strong commitment to NATO.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I loved your statement that we’re able to change when the world is changing.  And you do have to do that.  Your original mission was somewhat different than it is now.  Today, the world is a lot different than it was back then.  But that’s a very profound statement, and it’s a statement that everybody has to understand.  It’s very — to me, it’s very important.

[Q and A followed]

Q    How do you plan to bring NATO together at the summit?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, I think the Secretary General has done a good job in bringing NATO together.  You know, it’s been unfair because the United States is paying 4 percent, and some people could say 4.3 percent, of the largest GDP there is in the world, by far, because we’ve brought it to a level that nobody thought even possible.  So we’re paying 4 to 4.3 percent, when Germany is paying 1 to 1.2 percent — at max, 1.2 percent — of a much smaller GDP.  That’s not fair.

And it’s — look, it’s not — it’s not fair also when you have the European Union — many of these are the same countries —  but you have the European Union treating the United States very, very unfairly on trade.  The deficit, for many, many years — for decades — but the deficit, for many, many years, has been astronomical with the United States and Europe — in their favor.  And I’m changing that, and I’m changing it fairly rapidly.

But it’s not — it’s not right to be taken advantage of on NATO, and also, then, to be taken advantage of on trade.  And that’s what happens.  And we can’t let that happen.  So, we’re talking to the European Union, and we’re talking to various countries about NATO.  But we’re talking to the European Union about trade.  And they have to shape up; otherwise, things are going to get very tough.

SECRETARY GENERAL STOLTENBERG:  But let me just add that NATO is the only place where North America and Europe meet every day, where we discuss, decide, and take actions together, responding to a wide range of different security threats and challenges.  And we do that more now than we have done for many, many years.

And the reality is that — not least because it has been so clearly conveyed from President Trump that we need fair burden sharing — Allies are stepping up.  And we are also modernizing this Alliance, responding to new challenges in cyber, in space.  We will declare space as a new operational domain for NATO, something we never had before.

So it just highlights that, well, there are differences because we are 29 different countries from both sides of the Atlantic, with different political parties in power, with different history, different geography.  But despite these differences, we have always been able to unite around our core task to protect and defend each other because we are stronger and safer together.  And I’m absolutely certain that that will also be the case now.


Q    Do you see a greater divide between the U.S. and Europe now, in NATO?


Q    Do you see a greater divide in NATO between the U.S. and the rest of Europe?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  No, not with us, but I do see France breaking off.  I’m looking at him and I’m saying, you know, he needs protection more than anybody, and I see him breaking off.  So I’m a little surprised at that.

Q    Is Turkey a dependable ally or dependable member of NATO?  And when will you bring sanctions against them for —

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  But the first part of your question, say it again.

Q    Thank you.  Is Turkey a dependable member of NATO?  And when will you bring sanctions against them for buying Russian S-400 missiles?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, it’s a country that I happen to have a good relationship with.  We did a deal that everybody was very critical of and now they’re saying it works.  And I read a couple of stories just two days ago that, “Wow, that deal that Trump did with Turkey” — because I want to get our soldiers out of there.  I don’t want to be policing a border that’s been fought over for 2,000 years.  I want to get them out, but I wanted to keep the oil.  And now they’re saying, “That was a great deal that Trump made.”  I took a lot of heat over that deal.

No, I think that, as far as I’m concerned, I like Turkey and I get along very well with the President.  And I — you know, I would hope that he’s a very good member of NATO, or will be.  But we’ll see what it is in the future.

Could I ask you that question?

SECRETARY GENERAL STOLTENBERG:  Yes, but Turkey is an important NATO Ally — and you can just look at the map.  They’re bordering Iraq and Syria — the only Ally that borders that part of the world.  And Turkey has been enormously important in our joint efforts to fight ISIS/Daesh.  We have been able to liberate, in the U.S.-led coalition to defeat ISIS, all the territory that ISIS controlled just a few months ago, and more than 8 million people that were under ISIS control.  And we have done that not least by using infrastructure bases in Turkey.  So, in the fight against ISIS, Turkey has played a key role.

Then, many allies have expressed a concern about Turkish military operation into northeast Syria.  But following the agreement between the United States and Turkey, when Vice President Pence went to Ankara, we have seen that Turkey has stalled its military operations in northeast Syrian, and has seen a significant reduction in violence.  And now we have to build on that and try to find a political solution to the crisis in Syria.

Let me also add, on the question about Europe and North America: Yes, there are differences, as there has always been, dating back to the Suez Crisis in ’56, all the way to the Iraq War in 2003.  So it’s nothing new that 29 allies have different views on many different things: trade, climate change, and other things.

But again, the strength of NATO is that, despite these differences, we have proven again and again able to unite around our core task to protect and defend each other.  And that’s exactly what they’re doing now.  We are doing more together, North America and Europe, than have done for many decades.

So the paradox is that, despite so much, as I say, some political differences, we are always able to agree and unite around our core task to stay together.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  And I will say this: Three weeks ago, when we got al-Baghdadi, Turkey was very helpful.  We flew over areas that were totally controlled by Turkey and the Turkish military.  We say, “We’re coming.”  They absolutely were very supportive, actually.  We didn’t tell them what we were doing and where we were going.  Turkey could not have been nicer, could not have been more supportive.  And that’s important.

And I wanted to say that, in keeping the oil, ISIS was trying to, as you know, regain control of the oil.  And we have total control of the oil.  And, frankly, we had a lot of support from a lot of different people.  But, right now, the only soldiers we have, essentially, in that area, are the soldiers keeping the oil.  So we have the oil, and we can do with the oil what we want.

Q    But Turkey bought Russian missiles.  How is that being on the side of NATO?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, they did.  And they tried to buy ours, and the Obama administration said, “You can’t have them.”  Okay?

Q    Would you give them to them?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  The Obama administration said, “You can’t have the Patriots.  You can’t — we’re not going to sell them to you.”  And they said that a number of times.  And then Turkey went out and bought the Russian missile.  So we’ll see what happens.  We’re still talking about it.  But they wanted to buy the Patriots; they tried to buy the Patriots.  I think most of you know that.  And they were shut off from buying the Patriots. They were not allowed to buy it.  So that puts him in a bind also.

SECRETARY GENERAL STOLTENBERG:  But the Russian system will not be integrated into the Integrated NATO Air and Missile Defence Systems, because these Russian systems cannot work together with the rest of the NATO systems, of course.

And I welcome the fact that there are talks going on between the United States and Turkey, looking into some alternative systems — the Patriots — and also the fact that NATO actually augments — we have deployed — we augmented the Turkish air and missile defense system today with the deployment of Patriot batteries by NATO, in Turkey.

So we address this issue and we try to find a way to solve it because it’s now creating some problems internally in the Alliance.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  And, as you know, Turkey bought billions and billions — it was one of the largest orders of F-35s, which is the greatest fighter jet in the world.  And all they’re going to do now is go to another country, whether it’s Russia or China.  They don’t want to do that; they want to buy the best planes.  But, you know, they’re making it very difficult for, in a way, themselves, but they’re also making it difficult in Washington for them to buy that plane.

But they want to buy.  They have a very big order out.  They’ve already put up billions of dollars; they’ve given it to Lockheed Martin.


Q    Could I ask you about NATO?  Why is China such an important subject for this NATO Summit?  What threat do they pose?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, China has become very powerful and much more so than in the past.  They’ve done it, largely, with United States money, because our past Presidents allowed them to steal the cookie cutter.  And that’s okay — I don’t begrudge China for that.  I begrudge — I’m very disappointed in our past Presidents and leadership.  They allowed this to happen.  There’s no way it should’ve happened.

And, by the way, I’m doing very well in a deal with China, if I want to make it.  If I want to make it.  I don’t think it’s “if they want to make it”; it’s “if I want to make it.”  And we’ll see what happens.  But I’m doing very well, if I want to make a deal.  I don’t know that I want to make it, but you’re going to find out pretty soon.  We’ll surprise everybody.

SECRETARY GENERAL STOLTENBERG:  But, as you know, historically, NATO has been focused on the Soviet Union and Russia, so it’s not something new that we now are also addressing the implications for our security by the rise of China.  But we have to do that because China is now the second-largest defense spender in the world, after the United States.

They recently displayed a lot of new advanced military weapons systems, including new intercontinental ballistic missiles able to reach the whole of Europe and the United States; hypersonic weapons, gliders; and they also deployed hundreds of intermediate-range missiles that would have violated the INF Treaty if China had been part of that treaty.

It’s not about moving NATO into the South China Sea, but it’s about taking into account the fact that China is coming to closer to us.  We see them in the Arctic.  We see them in Africa.  We see them investing heavily in European infrastructure.  And, of course, we see China in cyberspace.

So the rise of China — there are some opportunities, but also some challenges, and we need to face them together.  And I think it’s a good thing that Europe and North America do that together.  Because, together, North America and Europe, we are 50 percent of world GDP and 50 percent of the world’s military might.  So as long as we are together, we are bigger and stronger than any other potential adversary.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  And I think that’s important because it’s a very different NATO.  I mean, this has become — I really think since I’ve joined, since I’ve come in — we have a very good relationship.

This used to be a NATO on one country.  They didn’t even talk about anything else.  And now, really, we are looking at all over the world, because they’re — you know, the world changes.  Seventy years it is; it’s a long time.  And the world has changed a lot.  And I don’t think, frankly, before us, that NATO was changing at all with it.  And NATO is really changing right now.
So it’s a different NATO.  It’s covering a lot more territory.  It’s covering hotspots.  It’s covering a lot of things that were never even contemplated or thought of even five years ago.  If you go back five years, they wouldn’t even be thinking about the things that we’re doing now.

So — and I’ve become a bigger fan of NATO because they’ve been so flexible.  If they weren’t flexible, I think I would probably be not so happy.  But they are very flexible, and this gentleman is doing a great job.


Q    Mr. President, on the China trade deal, sir?  Do you think you’ll be able to get it by the end of the year?  Is that your goal?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Let me tell you, the China trade deal is dependent on one thing: Do I want to make it?  Because we’re doing very well with China right now and we can do even better with the flick of a pen.  And China is paying for it.  And China has their worst year, by far, that they’ve had in 57 years.  So, we’ll see what happens.  But we’re doing very well, right now.  And I gave the farmers, as you know, $28 billion and had a lot left over.

Because the farmers were targeted by China.  I gave them $28 billion over a two-year period, and that got them whole.  That was everything that China took out.  I gave them from the tariffs that China paid us, and I had billions left over — many billions left over.

Q    So you don’t really have a deadline?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I have no deadline.  No.

Q    Mr. President, are you concerned about the —

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  In some ways, I think it’s better to wait until after the election, you want to know the truth.  I think, in some ways, it’s better to wait until after the election with China.

Q    But why?  Why is that, sir?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  But I — I’m not going to say that.  I just think that.  I’ll just tell you: In some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal.  But they want to make a deal now.  And we’ll see whether or not the deal is going to be right.  It’s got to be right.

Look, China has been ripping off the United States for many, many years.  Again, because of leadership, or lack of leadership, or it wasn’t their thing.  It’s like I told you about the military and the kind of money we’re taking in.  And, you know, every one of these countries — these are rich countries I’m talking to.  They would always say, “But nobody has ever asked us to do that.”  Like, “Therefore, why should we do it now?”

I said, “Well, they haven’t because they were foolish, but I am.”  And that’s where we are.  And that’s why — with Saudi Arabia, with South Korea, with so many other countries — they’re paying a lot of money to the United States that they weren’t paying.  And they will be paying a lot more.


Q    Mr. President, do you think that Jeremy Corbyn needs to —

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  That’s a big story.  Right?  That’s a big story, you.

Q    A lot of big stories.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I don’t know — I don’t how you can make that a bad one.  But you’ll figure a way, right?

Q    Do you think that Jeremy Corbyn needs to do more to denounce anti-Semitism?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I know nothing about the gentleman, really — Jeremy Corbyn.  Know nothing about him.

Q    Do you have a comment on Prince Andrew stepping —

Q    Mr. President, do you think that NATO should strengthen the dialogue with Russia?  French President Emmanuel Macron is asking to talk more to Russia.  Do you support him?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I think NATO should always be in dialogue with Russia.  I think you can have a very good relationship with Russia.  I don’t think that there is any problem at all with the Secretary General speaking with Russia.  I think it’s a very important thing to do.

SECRETARY GENERAL STOLTENBERG:  And, actually, we are talking to Russia because I strongly also, as the President, believe in the importance of having dialogue with Russia.  Russia is our biggest neighbor and Russia is here to stay, and we will strive for a better relationship with Russia.  But we do that based on what we call the dual-track approach by NATO.  We have to be strong and we have to provide a credible deterrence and defense, combined with dialogue.

So, for us, it is deterrence, defense, and dialogue, and that’s exactly what we are doing, especially when it comes to arms control.  We need to avoid a new arms race.  We need to avoid a new Cold War.  A new arms race is dangerous.  It is expensive.  And therefore, we also very much that Russia has violated the INF Treaty, which banned all of the intermediate-range missiles in Europe.

The good thing is that NATO was able to respond in a unified way.  We all agreed that Russia was in violation.  We all supported the U.S. decision, because a treaty will not work if it’s only respected by one side.

And now we sit together again — North America, Europe, U.S., and the rest of the NATO Allies — and address how should we respond.  We will respond in a coordinated way.  Together, we will respond in a defensive way.  But we have to make sure that we still provide credible deterrence and defense also in a world with more Russian missiles in Europe.

Arms control is something I know that the President is very focused on.  I really would like to see progress on arms control with Russia.  But also, in one way, we will have to find ways to include China.  Because, in the future, China has to be part of the arms control efforts.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  And I have to say this: Russia wants to make a deal on arms control.  And I terminated the deal because they weren’t living up to it.  And it was an obsolete deal anyway.  They weren’t living up to it.

But Russia wants to make a deal.  As recently as, like, two weeks ago, Russia wants to make a deal very much on arms control and nuclear.  And that’s smart.  And so do we.  We think it would be a good thing.

And we’ll also certainly bring in, as you know, China.  And we may bring them in later, or we may bring them in now.  But Russia wants to do something badly and so do we.  It would be a great thing to do.

Q    Mr. President, do you have a comment on Prince Andrew stepping down from his royal duties?


Q    Prince Andrew stepping down from his royal duties.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  No.  I don’t know Prince Andrew.  But it’s a — that’s a tough story.  That’s a very tough story.  I don’t know him.  No.

Okay.  Anybody else?  Thank you.  So we’ll see you during the next two days.  Interesting, right?  Huh?  A lot of money.  A lot of money.  Okay.  Bye, folks.


Remarks from a working lunch with “2 Percenters” [emphasis and links added]:

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, thank you very much.  These are eight countries, plus us — plus the United States — that are fully paid.  They met the goal of 2 percent.  We call them the “2 percenters.”  Someday, we’ll raise it to 3 percent and 4 percent, maybe.  But, right now, we have it.

But these are countries that have not been delinquent.  They’ve been, in some cases, even more than 2 percent, because they feel so strongly about what we’re doing.  And that’s really a sign of respect for the United States.

And one of the gentlemen — I won’t mention who — but said it’s so important to have the United States as a part of NATO because of what we’ve done.  And just to make you all feel good, we will have spent, under what I’ve done, $2.5 trillion on the military.  Two and a half trillion.  So that pales in comparison when you look at what we’re talking about, right?  So it’s — but it’s two and a half of the greatest equipment in the world.  Every form of equipment known to mankind or womankind.

So I just want to thank these great countries.  And they are great.  They’ve become friends of mine, in many cases.  And they’re very respected within their own countries.  But these are countries that have met the goal of 2 percent.

We have, unfortunately, a large number that haven’t met the goal.  Some are very close, and they will be.  We’ve received an additional $130 billion a year.  And, I guess, if you go back three years, it’s perhaps even more than that.  But I’ve been doing this for three years.

And the Secretary General will tell you, in a few seconds; he’s going to say some — a little bit about it.  But when I first came, it was like a rollercoaster down, not up.  Down.  It was all the way down at the lowest point ever.  And since then, we’ve gone up massively.  And now we’ll be, by far, the highest point ever.

So it’s a great organization.  And we — we owe a lot to the Secretary General.  He’s been fantastic.  He’s done, really, a fantastic job.

We think it’ll be up — within three years, it will be up to $400 billion more.  And — but, in the meantime, these are the countries.  I said, “I want to take the 2 percenters to lunch.”  We call them, affectionately, “Those 2 percenters.”  But I want to take them to lunch.  So this is a lunch that’s on me.

And I want to thank you all.  And if you’d like to say something to the press, you can.  But, in the meantime, I’ll ask our great Secretary General to say a few words.

SECRETARY GENERAL STOLTENBERG:  Thank you so much, Mr. President.  And thank you so much for hosting this lunch with nine countries — or the eight plus one, the United States — that are spending 2 percent of GDP on defense.

And just a few years ago, this would have been a few small group of countries.  Because, a few years ago, there were only three countries.  And so this is actually more than twice as many countries just since a few years ago.

So this demonstrates the progress we are making on defense spending.  We still have much to do, and more Allies have to meet the 2 percent guideline.  But it demonstrates that we are making real progress.

It also demonstrates that your leadership on defense spending, Mr. President, is having an impact, because more Allies meet the 2 percent guideline.  All Allies have started to increase.  The majority of Allies have plans in place to meet the 2 percent guideline by 2024.  And the European Allies and Canada have added $130 billion to the defense budget since 2016.  And this number will be $400 billion by 2024.

So this is significant progress.  This is making NATO stronger.  This is unprecedented.  So, again, it’s great to be together with countries which are really investing in our shared security and showing that NATO is adapting, NATO is flexible, NATO is able to change when we need to respond to more demanding security environments.

So once again, thank you so much, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, thank you.  Great job you’re doing.  Thank you very much.

How about Poland?  Would you like to say something representing the group?

PRESIDENT DUDA:  Mr. President, thank you very much for this —


PRESIDENT DUDA:  — for the kind invitation.  And we are very glad that we are in this group of countries who feel responsibility for — not only for our own security, not only the security of our border, but also security of the whole Alliance.

And this approach, “NATO 360 degrees,” is one of the crucial elements of our Alliance and unity.  As we had very good discussion today, and we have, in my opinion, very important decision.  And this meeting today was the next step.  And it shows that we are united and we are together, and that the NATO Alliance is still alive and still in very good shape.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  It is, indeed.  I think he would get fantastic television ratings with that — with the way he made that presentation.  (Laughter.)

How about my friend?  You want to say something?

[Romanian] PRESIDENT IOHANNISYes, thank you so much for — for inviting us.  I think this is an important sign for NATO, because we are — except for you, we are not the richest countries and, still, we believe in NATO.  We believe in the unity of NATO.  And we believe that NATO is extremely important for all of us.  So instilling this idea of burden sharing is extremely important, and I think our colleagues will follow our lead.  So thank you.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  They will, actually.  And if they don’t, we’ll get them on trade.  One way or the other, they’re paying, folks — that, I can tell you.

Thank you all very much.  Appreciate it.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

Q    Just to clarify, sir, did you cancel the news conference?  You’re going to — you’re still going to do it?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Say it, Steven?

Q    Did you cancel the news conference?  We weren’t clear.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Oh, yeah, I’ll cancel the news — I’ve done so many.  And I’m doing, I think, two more.  We’re meeting with Italy and Denmark.  So, I’m doing two more.  I think that’s enough.  There would be nothing to say.  So I won’t be — you’ll let the word out.  We’re doing — but we are doing Denmark and Italy right after this.  So we’re staying for two more bilats, and the press will be invited, okay?


There are 8 comments.

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  1. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat

    Trump clearly believes in worrying more about achieving his goals than he does about who he upsets.  And he understands leverage.  Really understands it, on a fundamental level.

    The guy gets stuff done.

    I can’t think of a politician in either party who could come close to his achievements.  Nobody.

    He gets stuff done.

    • #1
  2. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens

    Never Trump crickets?

    • #2
  3. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Contrast the actual, on camera, behavior and results with the fetid fantasy of credentialed quacks, “mental health professionals” who used the Goldwater Rule for kindling on the bonfire of their hate for us and our president:

    In an email forwarded to PJ Media, three psychiatrists with the coalition ask other psychiatrists to sign on to a petition to the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee to include a statement on Trump’s supposed mental instability into the official record of the impeachment inquiry.

    Now, pay very close attention to the ringleaders’ affiliations [emphasis added]:

    Dr. Bandy Lee, a forensic psychiatrist at Yale School of Medicine; Dr. Jerrold Post, a psychiatrist and political psychologist who founded the CIA’s Center for Analysis of Personality and Political Behavior; and Dr. John Zinner, a clinical professor in the Psychiatry Department of the George Washington University School of Medicine, wrote the petition and statement condemning Trump.

    “We are American psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals who have come together at this critical time in our nation’s history,” the petition begins. “We believe there are important mental health issues that need to be understood and addressed with regard to the president, whom we believe poses unique dangers to the country and the world.”

    The pro-impeachment statement is one in a long line of psychiatric attacks on Trump, the petition explains. “A group of us first outlined our concerns at a conference at Yale School of Medicine in April 2017, when the majority of the public believed the president was ‘settling in.’ This was followed by a public-service book, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President, which many say predicted the course of this presidency. Thousands of others joined us to form a professional association known as the World Mental Health Coalition.

    There is, indeed a mental health crisis, and it is in the psychiatric profession.

    • #3
  4. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    There is, indeed a mental health crisis, and it is in the psychiatric profession.

    Seems to me there was another country that politicized the mental health business. Maybe somebody else remembers the details.  

    • #4
  5. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    There is, indeed a mental health crisis, and it is in the psychiatric profession.

    Seems to me there was another country that politicized the mental health business. Maybe somebody else remembers the details.

    Yes. In fact I just expanded this comment into a post, including that bit of history: “Psychiatrists need an intervention.”

    • #5
  6. Annefy Member

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Trump clearly believes in worrying more about achieving his goals than he does about who he upsets. And he understands leverage. Really understands it, on a fundamental level.

    The guy gets stuff done.

    I can’t think of a politician in either party who could come close to his achievements. Nobody.

    He gets stuff done.

    Give this guy another four years, and I think we’ll truly enter into what Scott Adams has referred to as the Golden Age.

    Which brings a unique set of challenges that I hope we’re prepared for.

    As an aside, has there ever been a president who looked as good as DT does three years in? Obama aged a decade in his first term. So did GWB, but I’ll give him a pass. Is it me, or does Trump look younger and better? (Granted, the dude was no prize from the get go.)

    He’s having the time of his life. Is it because he’s entered into a strange nexus where he’s in the exact right spot at the exact right time? (I’ve only felt it a few times, but it was powerful and it always worked out.)

    • #6
  7. Ralphie Inactive

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    There is, indeed a mental health crisis, and it is in the psychiatric profession.

    You can say that two times. They are more political than serious. I thought it went againist professional ethics to diagnose from afar.

    • #7
  8. Kozak Member

    Ralphie (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    There is, indeed a mental health crisis, and it is in the psychiatric profession.

    You can say that two times. They are more political than serious. I thought it went againist professional ethics to diagnose from afar.

    Yeah. It’s about the biggest ethics violation a psychiatrist can commit short of raping a patient.

    • #8
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