Barack Obama appeared in Berlin with Angela Merkel and, making an apparent jab at Donald Trump, said, ‘We can’t hide behind a wall.’ Elizabeth Keatinge (@elizkeatinge) has more.
Barack Obama and Donald Trump appeared in public at the same time in Europe Thursday, but reactions could not have been starker.
The former president received a rock-star welcome in Berlin, while his successor received looks of bewilderment from European leaders in Brussels.
Here are some reasons why so many Europeans love Obama and loathe Trump.
Trump chastised his colleagues for not contributing enough to their collective defense. “NATO members must finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations,” Trump said. “Twenty-three of 28 nations in the alliance are not paying what they should be paying for their defense. This is very unfair to the taxpayers of the USA.”
During the campaign, Trump called NATO obsolete and that before sending U.S. troops to defend Europe, he would check whether members had met their defense spending obligations. He later backtracked on both issues and has promised to increase the U.S. military presence in Europe.
On Thursday, Trump noted “the commitments that bind us together as one” and promised to “never forsake the friends who stood by our side.”
Obama, who reduced the U.S. military presence in Europe before increasing it after Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine, never raised any doubts about the U.S. commitment to the alliance and had a more cooperative approach…