General Mattis Breaks With Trump – ‘That’s Not The Way We Do That In NATO’

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Late last week, Donald Trump proved to the entire world how little he knows about how NATO works when he posted two tweets arguing that Germany owes the U.S. and NATO “vast sums of money.”

Since he posted the tweets on Friday morning, Trump has been raked over the coals by individuals much more knowledgeable than himself, including a former NATO ambassador and the German Defense Minister. One more unlikely individual joined the group of fact checkers on Wednesday: Trump’s defense secretary, James Mattis.

While speaking to the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee, The Hill reports, Mattis responded to a question from Senator Jon Tester (D-Montana) about the tweets. Mattis did not hesitate to admit that the president’s tweets were incorrect when he explained:

‘I cannot give you an accounting for past money owed, because that’s not the way we do that in NATO. We do it through capabilities. That’s the commitment each nation makes.’

Mattis also addressed the fact that Germany has committed to increase their defense spending to two percent of their gross domestic product — the percentage all NATO allies have committed to spending.

‘We are seeing Germany is committed to going to the 2 percent, reinforced by their minister of defense when I spoke with her and also by the chancellor, and I think they’re on the right track to lead the development of 2 percent budgets across the alliance.’

This is not the first time Mattis has publicly disagreed with President Trump. Last month, after Trump tweeted that the “fake news media” is the “enemy of the American people,” Mattis said during a press conference that he does not have any problems with the press.

‘I’ve had some rather contentious times with the press, but, no, the press, as far as I’m concerned, are a constituency that we deal with, and I don’t have any issues with the press myself.’

President Trump has proven time and time again that he does not handle criticism well and does not take people disagreeing with him lightly. He hasn’t said anything in response to Mattis’s latest comments, but it seems likely that he is not too happy with the defense secretary at the moment.

Featured image via Ed Jones-Pool/Getty Images.