Trump spells out one and the same approach for dealing with leaders of Russia and Germany both
It appears more and more that President Trump is going to be a lot like candidate Trump. During the campaign he was expressing many unconventional views, but there was always the question if he's going to stick to his guns, or mellow once in office.
Well with just a few days to go until he is sworn in he does not appear to be mellowing at all. Instead he is doubling down on some of his best foreign policy positions.
Speaking to two European papers, the German Bild and British London Times Trump repeated NATO was obsolete. The reason he gave was that NATO allies were "not paying what they should be paying" which is a rather odd critique of this utterly insane enterprise but at this point -- for a lack of a better critique from any other leaders -- we'll take it.
Trump also said he will start his tenure by trusting Merkel and Putin but that he was willing to quickly cut ties to both. In other words, the next US president promises to adopt the exact same approach in dealing with Russia, the supposed chief foe of the US, and in dealing with Germany, the supposed crucial ally of the US (but certainly not of Trump).
There is some precedent for this. After 2003 when Germany and France refused to sign up for the American invasion of Iraq they were rebuked heavily by the US and kept at an arm's length for the remainder of Bush's administration.
Trump also made a few comments that in of themselves are rather pedestrian but that in today's environment and political spectrum are enough to get one placed with the extreme right.
He expressed the view that Merkel inviting in a million people from the Middle East was a "catasthrophic mistake" that has hurt Germany, and said he was fairly indiferent whether the EU stays together or not.
Well so are the vast majority of EUropeans. Europe is not the EU. There was a successful Europe before the EU and there will be one long after the EU is phased out. In reality aside from the politicians and a few political science students few in Europe makes the mistake of conflating the EU with everything that is good in life -- but it's certainly heterodox for head of the United States to say as much.