Marine Le Pen, presidential candidate for the National Front in France, slammed President Donald Trump for flip-flopping on NATO.
“Undeniably he is in contradiction with the commitments he had made,” Le Pen said Friday during an interview with France Info radio. “I am coherent, I don’t change my mind in a few days. He had said he would not be the policeman of the world, that he would be the president of the United States and would not be the policeman of the world, but it seems today that he has changed his mind.”
Trump made an abrupt reversal of his campaign policies on Wednesday as he hosted NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
“I said it was obsolete. It’s no longer obsolete,” Trump said Wednesday, despite affirming the military alliance’s obsolescence repeatedly during his election campaign.
Le Pen continued that given Trump’s switch, it’s unclear whether he’ll maintain a coherent “America First” approach in his policy moving forward. She added that if she were elected president of France, she would certainly hold fast to a “France first” outlook.
“Will he persist, or is it a political coup which facilitates his domestic policy, I have absolutely no idea. But I am coherent in my analyses. When something favors France I say so, when it doesn’t I say so too,” she said.
Le Pen has supported pulling France out of NATO as part of her campaign platform.
Interestingly, Ivo Daalder, former ambassador to NATO under President Barack Obama, told The New York Times that “nothing has changed at NATO in the last 80 days.”
“Perhaps the one important thing that has changed in the last 80 days is that as president, Mr. Trump has come to appreciate the importance of this alliance and how it contributes to security and stability in Europe and beyond,” Daalder added.
The first sign of change came after Trump’s public statements came into sharp contradiction with statements made by his secretary of defense, James Mattis, who underscored the importance of the military alliance even during his confirmation hearing.
Trump then moderated his stance in late January. British Prime Minister Theresa May stated in a joint press conference at the time that “On defence and security cooperation, we’re united in our recognition of NATO as the bulwark of our collective defence and we reaffirmed our unshakeable commitment to this alliance. We’re 100% behind NATO.”
Now, Trump has not only passively agreed with the importance of NATO, but also actively affirms that it is not at all an obsolete alliance.
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