Former President Donald Trump often admonished NATO countries for relying on U.S. forces instead of paying their fair share.
A video from 2018 recorded by “The Sun” captures the former president saying just that to then-NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
Richard Grenell, who left his position as Ambassador to Germany, to serve as Trump’s Acting Director for National Intelligence, shared a video clip of the luncheon with Trump and Stoltenberg.
He posted the video to his Twitter account and calls it a ” A must-watch” clip.
In the clip, Trump blasts Germany especially, irate about the deal they inked with Russia for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline designed to supply 110 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas to Germany while bypassing Ukraine. The pipeline was completed in September 2021 but licensing was put on hold by Germany after Russia’s recognition of two breakaway regions of Ukraine that formed so-called “people’s republics”.
Trump was prescient in recognizing the leverage that supplying a large percentage of energy to European Union countries like Germany and France would give Russia. Germany has seemed to drag its feet in helping Ukraine until Russia actually invaded them.
The thing that seemed to anger the 45th U.S. president the most was his perception that Americans were being milked to pay for defending Europe when the countries being protected were financially able to contribute much more towards their own defense. Since the presumed enemy that Europe prepared defense against was Russia, it irked him that France and Germany would add tremendous amounts of foreign revenue to the Russians.
“I think it’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia, where you’re supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions a year to Russia,” Trump can be heard saying. “So we’re protecting Germany, we’re protecting France, we’re protecting all of these countries and then, numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia, where they’re paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia.”
“So we’re supposed to protect you against Russia, but they’re paying billions of dollars to Russia.”
He was further incensed that Germany’s former chancellor headed the pipeline company that’s supplying the gas. Trump calculated Germany would be dependent upon Russian natural gas for almost 70 percent of the country’s energy.
“So, you tell me, is that appropriate?” Trump asked the NATO Secretary-General.
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