President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania are participating in the welcoming ceremony at a NATO summit in Belgium. NATO, the 70-year-old intergovernmental military alliance that’s devoted to collective international security, has come under attack from Trump. Trump supporters are questioning the organizations tactics and funding.
The summit is intended to be meeting with allies, however Trump began the trip by airing his grievances over trade with Europe loudly and clearly. The president singled out Germany’s energy deal with Russia saying, “Germany, as far as I’m concerned, is captive to Russia.”
Critics of the president said Trump’s trip to Brussels is as much about the European Union and trade as about NATO and collective defense.
“Trump is trying to conflate his issues over trade and his beef with Europe and the EU with NATO, and he’s using our military strength to do that,” said John Kirby, a State Department spokesman during the Barack Obama administration, speaking on CNN.
USA TODAY will be streaming live coverage of the welcoming ceremony at the NATO summit in Belgium.