Arizona Sen. Flake Meets With NATO Leaders Concerned About Trump's Rhetoric

Published: Sunday, July 8, 2018 - 11:30am
Updated: Monday, July 9, 2018 - 8:38am
Sen. Jeff Flake
Jeff Flake.

Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake recently attended meetings with leaders of several NATO allies.

Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Flake said some leaders in Europe were concerned after President Donald Trump said NATO countries need to increase defense spending.

“These countries are concerned about the rhetoric coming from the White House,” Flake said. “They know how important this NATO alliance is, particularly if you’re in say Latvia, which we were. They’re very concerned about what they hear. Latvia is at 2 percent. They’re spending what they need to.”  

Flake says NATO countries are supposed to spend two percent of their GDP on defense per the treaty, but only eight of the 29 countries are meeting that commitment.

Flake said he and others have concerns about Trump’s upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladmir Putin.

“Countries in Europe are concerned about promises that might be made by the administration without consultation with our NATO allies — suspension of exercises for example or a commitment to remove troops from certain countries,” Flake said.

Flake said he’s glad Trump is meeting with Putin. However, he’s worried about the president demeaning America’s allies and praising its adversaries.

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