President Trump is traveling to Brussels for the NATO summit set to begin Wednesday, and according to American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks, NATO leaders should expect the president to be both conciliatory and tough.
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“Expect the President of the United States to say some things that are relatively conciliatory, and that people generally like here in the United States, even a lot of his critics,” he told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo during an interview Tuesday morning.
Brooks said he anticipates Trump will want to come off as a tough negotiator since the U.S. has paid a disproportionate amount for NATO, with unequal influence compared to the 28 other member states.
“There’s no way the president doesn’t understand that, so expect some conciliatory measures over the next couple of days,” he said.
This morning, Trump was asked on the South Lawn of the White House if Russia’s Vladimir Putin is a friend or a foe. He answered that he was a competitor, and also said that meeting with Putin on July 16 might be the easiest part of this trip.
Brooks echoed Trump’s statement, adding “what he was trying to do was to avoid saying that Vladimir Putin is a foe, just as he’s walking in to talk to Vladimir Putin. That’s basic diplomacy.”
Trump tweeted on Tuesday that the U.S. is paying much more than its allies, which he said is not fair to American taxpayers. The president also criticized a large trade deficit with the European Union.
Brooks responded to this statement by saying that it’s not true: “We buy more than we sell to them, but in exchange for that, the European Union is putting in at least $150 billion into the American economy in investments.”