Still explaining his declaration that NATO was “obsolete” during the 2016 presidential campaign, a declaration other NATO leaders are griping about, President Trump has told an interviewer that he didn’t really know much about what NATO was at the time.
Trump said the first time he was asked about NATO was on CNN, and that he was caught off guard because he “wasn’t in government” and never had to learn what NATO was, saying no one had ever asked him about NATO when he was building a building.
Trump says he reasoned that NATO was obsolete because it doesn’t fight terrorism, because “back when they did NATO there was no such thing as terrorism.” Which of course is not true, but does seem to support Trump’s narrative that he knew pretty much nothing.
Trump went on to claim that NATO isn’t obsolete anymore, not because he learned anything, but because they heard his malarkey about terrorism and changed their policy to focus on terrorism. This appears less to be him backing down on the claim of obsolescence than underscoring how little he knew, and continues to know, about NATO.