The star of ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ is used to kid gloves treatment, but at the NATO meeting next week, everyone will treat Donald Trump like a kid.
“The alliance is telling heads of state to limit talks to two to four minutes at a time during the discussion,” Robbie Gramer reports at Foreign Policy. “And the alliance scrapped plans to publish the traditional full post-meeting statement meant to crystallize NATO’s latest strategic stance” — all to keep the petulant American president from getting bored.
“It’s kind of ridiculous how they are preparing to deal with Trump,” said one source briefed extensively on the meeting’s preparations. “It’s like they’re preparing to deal with a child — someone with a short attention span and mood who has no knowledge of NATO, no interest in in-depth policy issues, nothing,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “They’re freaking out.”
Despite the changes, NATO expert Jorge Benitez tells Gramer that Trump will still find the meeting of heads of state “way too stiff, too formal, and too policy heavy.” Such gatherings are vital to the alliance, but never very stimulating, which will be problematic for such a childlike American commander-in-chief.
Trump is expected to push allies to spend more on their own defense and for NATO to formalize its anti-ISIS mission. Both issues are divisive within the alliance. Despite reassurances since he took office, Trump’s campaign rhetoric about NATO being “obsolete” still has many members justifiably worried that the White House is too cuddly the Kremlin. News that Trump shared an ally’s sensitive intelligence with Russian officials is hardly going to soothe their suspicions.
Making matters worse, Trump will take part in the NATO meeting only after an exhausting tour of Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Rome, so he will likely be exhausted and cranky when he arrives.
“At base, Trump is an infantalist,” writes New York Times columnist David Brooks in an op-ed this morning. “There are three tasks that most mature adults have sort of figured out by the time they hit 25,” he says: learning how to focus, how to deal in facts, and how to see themselves as others do. “Trump has mastered none of them. Immaturity is becoming the dominant note of his presidency, lack of self-control his leitmotif.”
No wonder Trump “wasn’t even aware where this information came from” when he blabbed about a US ally’s sensitive intelligence, according to national security adviser H.R. McMaster. During a press conference today, McMaster said that Trump “wasn’t briefed on the sources and methods” of the intelligence, but did not say that it’s because the alleged president has the attention span of a hyperactive five year-old.
— Alex Leo (@AlexMLeo) May 16, 2017
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