We all knew this would happen. Who are you going to believe? Your own ears, or spineless Sen. Marco Rubio who wants us to pretend we all didn’t hear exactly what Trump said when he threatened encourage Putin to attack our NATO allies if they didn’t pay up.
Rubio knows full well what Trump would do if he were not constrained, or he wouldn’t have worked to pass legislation that would bar the the president from unilaterally withdrawing from NATO, which passed back in December.
Rubio made an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union this Sunday and was asked about Trump’s dangerous rhetoric. Host Jake Tapper brought up the fact that they passed the legislation, which everyone knows was aimed at Trump, but gave Rubio a pass with no follow up when Rubio pretended what we heard from Trump was nothing new and tried to both sides it with other presidents being frustrated with our NATO allies.
Here’s the full exchange:
TAPPER: I know the NATO alliance is very important to you. You just pushed and got legislation to require the advice and consent of the Senate, or an act of Congress before any president can suspend, terminate or with withdraw US membership from NATO.
(Cut to Trump’s remarks at the rally.)
TAPPER: You’ve endorsed Donald Trump. Are you comfortable with him suggesting that he wouldn’t defend NATO countries and actually he would invite Putin and Russia to invade them?
RUBIO: Well, that’s not what happened, and that’s not how I view the statement. I mean, he was talking about something, a story that he talked about happened in the past. By the way, Donald Trump was president and he didn’t pull us out of NATO.
In fact, American troops were stationed throughout Europe as they are today, they were then as well, but he’s telling a story, and frankly, look, Donald Trump is not a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He doesn’t talk like a traditional politician, and we’ve already been through this. You think people would have figured it out by now.
What he’s basically saying is, if you see the comments, he said NATO was broke or busted until he took over because people weren’t paying their dues, and then he told the story about how he used leverage to get people to step up to the plate and become more active in NATO.
He’s not the first American president, in fact, virtually every American president at some point, in some way, has complained about other countries and NATO not doing enough. Um, you know, Trump’s just the first one to express it in these terms.
But, I’m zero concerned because he’s been president before and I know exactly what he has done and will do with the NATO alliance, but there has to be an alliance. It’s not America’s defense with a bunch of small junior partners. Some of these are big countries with big economies. Many of them are doing more. The Germans are doing a lot right now.
Never mind that we all know Trump will surround himself with a bunch of lackeys that will not even try to control him, so it won’t be the same as the last time, and this is not the same thing we’ve heard from other presidents, and it’s not the same thing we’ve already heard from Trump. It’s a dangerous escalation and Rubio knows it. Shame on Tapper for allowing this nonsense to stand.