Former Bush ambassador: Trump's 'diplomatic malpractice' hurts America


Trump is drawing fire for his aggressive efforts to destroy relationships with U.S. allies.

Trump drew a devastating critique from George W. Bush-appointed former U.S. Ambassador to NATO Nicholas Burns after embarrassing the United States at the NATO summit in Brussels.

At a breakfast leading up to the summit on Wednesday morning, Trump tore into U.S. allies, particularly Germany, in a lie-filled rant that Burns called out on "Morning Joe."

"Frankly, it’s just infuriating to watch this happen," Burns said, and called Trump's vilification of the alliance "Orwellian."

"He’s making our friends out to be our enemies, and he's treating our enemies, like Putin, as our friends, and he’s misrepresenting the facts," Burns added. "There have been four straight years of budget increases by every NATO ally. The great majority of them will be at this magical 2 percent of gross domestic product level by 2024."

He pointed out that America's "ability to project power in the world, in the Middle East and Afghanistan," is enabled by U.S. military bases "that the Europeans pay us for."

"They pay us $2.5 billion a year to keep our forces there," Burns said. "It would cost us more money to bring the troops home than to keep them in Europe."

Burns added that Trump's tirade is "all about politics, and the president’s base, not about the power of the United States. This incredible alliance that we’ve built, every president from Truman, it’s infuriating to see this happen. It’s diplomatic malpractice."

Trump's performance is sadly consistent with every single one of Trump's other embarrassing international forays, but is perhaps distinguished by the speed with which he shamed the U.S.

At the G-7 summit, Trump at least waited until the final day of the gathering to completely disgrace himself, whereas this summit had barely begun when Trump first bungled something.

To make matters worse, Americans still have Trump's meeting with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin to look forward to on this trip, a meeting that figures to deepen the rift with our allies even as it cements Putin's hold over Trump.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.