President Donald Trump tweeted about divisions in the Democratic impeachment effort Monday morning as he prepared to take off for a summit in Great Britain that will compete for his attention with machinations inside the Capitol.
‘It is clear that there is none of the bipartisan support that Speaker Pelosi said for months was essential for Impeachment,’ Trump wrote Monday, just hours before he was to take off for London, citing Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace and taggin @FoxNews.
He also quoted another Fox Business Network personality, Maria Bartiromo saying: ‘The process has been unfair. Republicans can’t even get their own witnesses. It gets me that Adam Schiff is not punishable for lying, in any way.’
In a third Fox-plugging tweet, the president wrote: ‘Trump Economy Breaks Holiday Shopping Records.’ @FoxNews.’
His online barrage came just hours before Trump was to take off for a NATO summit fraught with tension over burden-sharing, in a country still reeling from the vicious London Bridge stabbing attack.
President Trump will be in London on Tuesday and Wednesday for the 70th anniversary of NATO’s alliance
Trump will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of this week’s NATO summit but the president does not yet have a sit-down scheduled with the host country, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Tuesday and Wednesday’s summit – scheduled to celebrate the alliance’s 70th anniversary – comes at a time of tension between some leaders on the world stage and the U.S. president after Trump criticized member nations for spending too little on defense and removed American troops from Syria.
Trump called Prime Minister Boris Johnson after the attack to express his condolences. The White House said the two men looked forward to meeting, but has yet to reveal formal meeting on the schedule.
Trump tweeted a comment from Fox News host Chris Wallace stating that there is not currently bipartisan support for impeachment
Trump also tweeted a comment from Fox Business Network host Maria Bartiroma calling the impeachment process unfair
Staff for House Intelligence chair Rep. Adam Schiff are to turn a report over to committee members Monday for an speedy vote
Macron, in particular, has been most vocal in his criticism of American leadership under Trump.
The French president said in an interview last month that NATO was experiencing a ‘brain death’ because of a lack of commitment from the United States under President Trump’s leadership.
‘What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO,’ Macron told The Economist. ‘I’d argue that we should reassess the reality of what NATO is in the light of the commitment of the United States.’
TRUMP’S NATO SCHEDULE
Tuesday Dec. 3
Working breakfast with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
Meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron
A NATO leaders reception at Buckingham Palace with the Queen
Wednesday Dec. 4
Meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel
A working lunch with representatives from Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Bulgaria and UK
Merkel has been a target of Trump’s wrath.
The president has complained that European nations – and Germany in particular – should increase their own defense spending and not count on the NATO alliance to take of security for them.
More meetings could be added to the two-days the president is scheduled to spend in London, including ones with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte.
But the lack of a sit-down with Johnson is notable although President Trump will get the full spectacle of British hospitality when he joins his fellow world leaders for a reception Tuesday night at Buckingham Palace hosted by Queen Elizabeth II.
The British prime minister recently said he doesn’t want Trump to get involved with the upcoming UK elections when the American president is in the country.
French President Emmanuel Macron has been critical of American leadership under Trump; the two men are scheduled to meet during in London
‘We have very close relationships and friendships with the United States at every level of government but what we don’t do traditionally as loving allies and friends is get involved in each other’s election campaign,’ Johnson told LBC radio.
Senior Tory figures are concerned President Trump could derail Johnson’s hopes of victory on December 12 if he delivers one of his trademark bombshells during his visit.
But Trump is ‘absolutely cognizant’ of the importance of not interfering in other nation’s elections, a senior administration official said Friday.
‘He also, as I suspect you know, likes Boris Johnson – Prime Minister Johnson, personally,’ the official said on a phone call with reporters ahead of the trip. ‘But he is absolutely cognizant of not – again – wading into other countries’ elections.’
The president is ‘very conscious’ of the fact that ‘we do not interfere,’ the official said.
Trump enters the London anniversary celebration with a victory already under his belt.
Boris Johnson, pictured during an appearance on LBC Radio this morning, urged Donald Trump not to interfere in the upcoming UK election
President Trump will also meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel
On Thursday, the NATO announced it would reduce the American contribution to the organization’s budget and raise the amount other countries pay – a proposal Trump has long pushed for.
The president often rails about how much the United States pays to NATO’s $2.5 billion annual budget compared to the other 28 members of the alliance.
‘The U.S. will pay less, Germany will pay more, so now the U.S. and Germany will pay the same,’ NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference in Brussels ahead of this week’s NATO meeting.
He also announced that overall European countries and Canada will increase spending on their national military budgets by around $130 billion – up from around $100 billion – between 2016 and 2020.
‘The accumulated increase in defense spending by the end of 2024 will be 400 billion U.S. dollars. This is unprecedented progress,’ Stoltenberg said.
‘President Trump is right about the importance of European allies and Canada spending more,’ he said but added that ‘the European allies and Canada should not invest in defense to please President Trump.’
Trump and other leaders will attend reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace
The move by the NATO leader is also aimed at keeping the president from disrupting the anniversary celebration after Trump hijacked last year’s meeting in Brussels with his complaints about the U.S. contribution.
‘Frankly, many countries owe us a tremendous amount of money for many years back, where they’re delinquent, as far as I’m concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them,’ Trump said in July 2018 at the alliance meeting. ‘This has gone on for many presidents, but no other president brought it up like I bring it up.’
‘Something has to be done,’ he added.
Tensions with Turkey also have clouded the alliance.
The Trump administration and other NATO leaders have expressed their fury with Ankara’s decision to purchase S400 radar from Russia – a move that resulted in the U.S. removing Turkey from its F35 purchase program.
There is no sit down scheduled between Trump and President Recep Erdoğan, who recently met at the White House.
‘We do not have a separate bilat scheduled for the NATO Summit,’ a senior administration official said Friday.
‘I suspect President Erdogan will hear from many alliance members that they’re concerned over the activation of the S400 radar. We have been very very blunt with him, that that radar is inconsistent with Turkey’s duties as a NATO member, and particularly its participation in a bilateral sense in the F 35 program. That message will be reinforced across the alliance,’ the official added.
NATO leaders will also discuss threats from Russia and China: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping will not be in attendance but are seen here a meeting in St. Petersburg in June
NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels
The challenges the international community faces from China and Russia will also be on the agenda.
‘There are continuing challenges that NATO needs to face, China above all,’ a senior administration official said on a briefing call with reporters ahead of the trip.
The U.S. will push for its NATO allies to use trusted network providers as concerns are rising about Beijing’s dominance of 5G telecommunications networks.
‘This is a very, very high priority for us and the president is going to reiterate that message,’ the official said.
The U.S. has warned allies not to use products made by China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, arguing it could be used for spying.
Huawei denies the allegation.
Tensions between Washington and Beijing remain high in the wake of Trump’s signing into a law last week legislation that supports Hong Kong’s protesters. Additionally the two nations are still in a trade war.
Russian aggression continues to be a matter of concern for the alliance.
‘I suspect NATO’s relationship with Russia will certainly come up. You know, none of NATO’s measures are intended as a threat to Russia,’ the senior administration official said.
‘By contrast to NATO’s defensive and proportionate deployment, Russia’s shown a consistent disregard for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its neighbors and it’s no wonder that so many countries are concerned about Russia’s threat to their security. Certainly, that will be something that will be discussed at the leaders’ session,’ the official noted.