According to Axios, Vice President Mike Pence harshly criticized Germany and Turkey, two of NATO allies, at a Washington conference marking NATO’s 70th anniversary. He accused them of threatening to undermine the alliance with their recent actions.
At the conference, Pence said that “the alliance at 70 has never been stronger” due mostly to Trump’s leadership. Pence argued that Trump’s criticism of NATO members for falling short on defense spending were merely good examples of his leadership.
Pence added that although some countries have increased defense spending, “too many others have fallen short” with Germany “chief among them.”
Pence also said that Turkey’s decision to buy a missile defense system from Russia “poses great danger to NATO and to the strength of this alliance.” Pence gave Turkey a choice: they could “remain a critical partner” in NATO or they could “undermine the alliance by partnering with Russia.
After Pence said that NATO was rejuvenated by “the resolute American leadership of President Donald Trump” he was met with awkward silence where he expected applause.