Ahead of what promises to be an ultrafraught NATO summit, President Trump offered a preview of the kind of gentle diplomacy he’ll be bringing to Brussels.
First, he tweeted his usual litany of misleading complaints about the alliance.
In a brief question-and-answer session with reporters, he went farther.
He repeated his complaints about being treated “unfairly” by U.S. allies, but said “we’ll work something out.”
He then contrasted the summit ahead to his very private meeting with Vladimir Putin, which is set for July 16 in Helsinki, days after the NATO summit.
“So I have NATO, I have the U.K., which is in somewhat turmoil, and I have Putin. Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all — who would think?”
Given what we know about Trump and Putin’s warm and fuzzy relationship, a lot of people would think.
Trump also endorsed Boris Johnson, who quit as U.K. Foreign Secretary on Monday, telling reporters that he might meet with Johnson during his trip, and sounding more enthusiastic about the divisive Brexiteer than Prime Minister Theresa May — though he did say he has a “great relationship” with May.
“Boris Johnson’s a friend of mine,” he said. “He’s been very, very nice to me. Very supportive. And maybe we’ll speak to him when I get over there.”
As Trump’s arrival approached, European Council President Donald Tusk warned him to stop criticizing its trading and military partners.
“Dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don’t have that many,” he said.
Trump seems intent on ensuring that by end of his presidency, it has even fewer.