Friday, February 21, 2020

the last book I ever read (A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America, excerpt twelve)

from A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America by Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig:

Before heading to the airport to depart Brussels, Trump addressed throngs of journalists from around the world at a lectern at NATO headquarters. The American president made claims that some of his international counterparts contested. For instance, Macron and other foreign leaders disputed Trump’s announcement that countries had agreed to eventually increase their spending “quite a bit higher” than 2 percent of their gross domestic product. However, the U.S. officials traveling with Trump breathed a major sigh of relief when Trump stated, “I believe in NATO.” He called the alliance “a fine-tuned machine” and praised its “great unity, great spirit, great esprit de corps.”

At his news conference, Trump revealed he had been disappointed with the media’s lack of coverage of him scolding the Europeans to pay more. “I was surprised that you didn’t pick it up; it took until today,” he said, as if his morning threat were a stunt orchestrated to generate headlines. Xavier Bettel, the prime minister of Luxembourg, had reminded reporters that Trump had wireless internet on Air Force One and could reverse his support for NATO in a single tweet once he left Brussels. When a reporter asked Trump if he might attack NATO on Twitter after departing, just as he had maligned Trudeau following the G7 in Quebec, the president replied, “No, that’s other people that do that. I don’t. I’m very consistent. I’m a very stable genius.”

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