Donald Trump met with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. It didn’t go well. He intimated that he and Merkel had “something in common” because Barack Obama had wiretapped them both. A lie so brazen even Congressional Republicans think it’s absurd.
He failed to be a gracious host. When Merkel suggested they shake hands, Trump responded by sitting in his chair, staring petulantly ahead, like a constipated child.
The media reported that Trump and Merkel’s body language showed antipathy. Trump scorned the idea – tweeting, “Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel”. He was probably not aware – nor, I am sure, did he care – what the German media thought. However, they agreed with their American counterparts – calling the meeting tense.
Trump as usual – and ironically for a man who welshes on his debts – went to the ‘they don’t pay their fair share’ accusation. He lambasted Germany for cheating Americans. “Germany owes vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!”
Trump hit the trifecta of idiocy. He ignored diplomatic custom. He made it harder to advance America’s interests vis-a-vis the Germans. And most telling, he showed an astonishing ignorance of how NATO works. Member nations don’t rent America’s military. They don’t send us cash. They are required to spend 2% of their GDP on defense – and as Trump could have pointed out, Germany doesn’t. But rather than addressing that reality he took the hysterical route.
Meanwhile in other news:
The G20 has decided to drop their traditional pledge against trade protectionism as the Trump administration promotes its “America First” trade policies. The last President to pursue America First trade policies was Herbert Hoover in 1930. Look how that turned out.
Anti-Islam zealot John Guandolo suggests that Islamic plants have infiltrated the Trump administration. An odd claim considering the administration’s virulent Islamophobia. Made odder when the suspect is Sebastian Gorka – a committed Islamaphobe, who is reputed to have sworn a lifelong oath of loyalty to Vitézi Rend – a venerable, Hungarian, pro-Nazi group. (Gorka lived in Hungary from 1992 – 2008) (h/t Right Wing Watch)
The disbelief at the Trump administration’s claim that British Intelligence wiretapped Trump Tower continues. CNN’s Michael Smerconish asked ex-CIA & NSA chief Michael Hayden about it. Hayden responded, “Michael, I’m sorry, I’m trying to suppress a laugh here.” (h/t Mediaite)
Steve Stockman, a run-of-the-mill Republican ex-Congressman was arrested for diverting charity funds to his personal use. He blames his arrest on the ‘deep state’. This shadowy group, which exists only in the fevered imagination of conservative conspiracy theorists, is supposedly a cabal of career bureaucrats who are really running the government. It is an irony that the party of ‘personal responsibility’ consists of people who won’t take personal responsibility. (h/t Houston Chronicle)