Facing anxious European leaders, Trump goes on offensive
- Author: Jack Mann May 27, 2017,
May 27, 2017, 2:38
He was trying to reach the front of the group to take the position reserved for him next to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the British Prime Minister Theresa May.
After videos of US President Trump shoving aside the Montenegrin Prime Minister at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting went viral, Dusko Markovic has shrugged off the incident.
Markovic appears surprised by the shove but then smiles graciously and pats the United States president on the back.
Trump, in addition to partaking in the traditional pomp of the summit being held in a picturesque Sicilian town perched above the Mediterranean Sea, also held one-on-one meetings with the leaders of Japan, the United Kingdom and Germany. The Montenegrin prime minister was at first startled when Trump shoved him aside from behind. The video of the incident went viral on social media.
White House spokesperson Sean Spicer, when asked about Trump moving past Markovic, said he had not seen the video but assumed the U.S. president was moving to his designated spot.
"Although, when it comes to the conflict in Ukraine it seems that we were on the same line", he said, in apparent reference to ongoing sanctions against Russian Federation over its annexation of Crimea and over fighting in eastern Ukraine between government forces and pro-Russia rebels.
"Twenty-three of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying for their defense", Trump declared.
TRUMP: And many of these nations owe massive amounts of money from past years and not paying in those past years. "A lot more countries have stepped up and said we're going to meet this target sooner".
"I am very happy to be able to change many things together", Macron told Trump during the meeting, hoping to persuade the U.S. President to maintain Washington's commitment to the Paris climate change agreement.
After meeting Trump on Thursday in Brussels, Tusk told a news conference: "It was clear for both of us that the European Union at 27 is more united after Brexit than before Brexit".
Macron's meeting with Trump was his first biggest diplomatic test since his victory May 8, 2017.
Trump was involved in other mishaps in Brussels on Thursday.
The latest controversy over the leaking of information reveals a complete breakdown of trust - not simply between Britain and the United States, but between the White House and the U.S. intelligence community. And relations between the United States and the United Kingdom are tense as well, with the UK opting not to share any more intelligence with the US concerning the Manchester bombing because of leaks including the name of the bomber and images of the evidence from the scene itself.
British investigators are now refusing to share information about the case with USA law enforcement.
"The Germans are bad, very bad", he said, according to the German weekly's online edition.
Some Montenegrin news outlets included headlines quoting author J.K. Rowling, who tweeted the video, saying "You tiny, tiny, tiny little man" along with a retweeted video depicting Trump as a small man.