President Trump is heading to his NATO summit with a suitcase full of threats for one of America's most enduring and successful alliances. With Trump tweeting and talking trash about NATO, the Senate on Tuesday approved a nonbinding motion in support of the alliance — 97 senators voted in favor, Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) voted no. That overwhelmingly bipartisan support is "as rare as a unicorn" these days, Chris Cuomo said on CNN Tuesday night. And Trump should listen. Cuomo pointed to his whiteboard.
NATO was started in the 1940s to defend the West from Russia and its Soviet Union, and despite what Trump may tweet, NATO has nothing to do with trade and no country pays into a NATO defense budget, Cuomo said. Trump said his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin will be the easiest part of his trip to Europe, and he calls Putin "fine," but Putin "is not fine," he added. Putin's Russia annexed Crimea, shot down a civilian airliner, disrespected the dead victims, is fighting U.S. interests in Syria, and tampered with the U.S. election. Trump "doesn't want to talk about any of these things," Cuomo said. Instead, he's making a "misleading" argument about money.
Trump says NATO countries aren't paying their fair share, but what he's really talking about is their own defense budgets, Cuomo said. U.S. defense spending accounts for 67 percent of NATO's collective $917 billion in defense spending, "but remember, that's on our own defense," he said. "That's a separate situation," and it's worth wondering why Trump's working to "shake the foundation of organization that has kept relative peace for decades." Watch below. Peter Weber
.@ChrisCuomo: President Trump is trashing NATO and misleading the American people, downplaying the threat of Russia and saying his beef with the organization that has kept relative peace in the world for decades is just about spending #CuomoPrimeTime https://t.co/X7dGsyfPP6 pic.twitter.com/M974KmBili
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) July 11, 2018