Did President Trump Push a NATO Leader Out of His Way to Be in Front of the Group?
Trump stood front and center as the leaders gathered for a group photo
President Donald Trump is under fire for appearing to shove Montenegro Prime Minister Dusko Markovic aside to get to the front of a group of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) leaders.
While gathering at NATO’s new headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on Thursday, a group of members are seen walking together to get to a meeting. From behind, Trump emerges pushes Montenegro Prime Minister Dusko Markovic aside, stepping in front of him. The president then smugly straightens in his jacket.
In his first address as president to the NATO leaders minutes later, the frequent critic of NATO during his campaign continued to make his feelings about the organization known, chiding others for not meeting their financial commitments.“Members of the alliance must finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations,” Trump said, according to CNN. “Twenty-three of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they are supposed to be paying for their defense. This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States.”
White House press secretary Sean Spicer wouldn’t comment, except to say, “I have not seen the video.”
Some who did, like Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, had comments:
Trump stood front and center as the leaders gathered for a group photo, with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to his right and British Prime Minister Theresa May to his left.
Reporters in the White House press pool who witnessed the so-called “family photo” noted that while some leaders mingled, Trump kept to himself.
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“Some of the leaders interacted with one another on stage, but not Trump,” they stated in a pool report. “He stood silently, shifting his stance at moments and looking around.”
They said, “Trump smiled for a brief moment, but otherwise kept a serious, perhaps even stern, expression on his face for the duration of the photo opp.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau encouraged his counterparts to wave for the cameras, but Trump did not raise an arm.