Skip to Content
wgbh News

Juliette Kayyem on Trump's NATO Comments

Kayyem: Trump's NATO Comments Could Help Russia

Donald Trump, Jens Stoltenberg
U.S. President Donald Trump, second right, gestures while speaking to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, left, during their bilateral breakfast, Wednesday, July 11, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
Juliette Kayyem on Trump's NATO Comments

President Trump is facing criticism for his statement yesterday that the United States’ NATO ally Germany is captive to Russia because of energy payments it makes to the country.

National security expert Juliette Kayyem says Trump’s comments rocked the NATO summit, normally a calmer and less testy affair.

“They all looked like they wanted to eat their eyeballs,” said Kayyem on Boston Public Radio Wednesday.

Kayyem said Trump oversimplified the relationship between Russia and Germany, adding that he has oversimplified other national security issues in the past.

Trump, in referring to Germany’s alleged energy dependence on Russia, was talking about a planned natural gas pipeline beneath the Baltic Sea.

Kayyem said she sees Trump’s comments less as a defense of American economic interests and more an extension of the purported influence of Russian President Vladimir Putin on the Trump administration. The tensions created by Trump’s comments, she said, benefit Putin.

“I think [in] the destruction of the post-World War II order... guess who wins? Putin.” she said.

Kayyem explained that the same anti-globalist agenda that appeals to Trump's base appeals to Putin as well.

“It’s Putin’s world now, including the Oval Office,” she said. “It just is.”

National Security expert Juliette Kayyem is a member of the faculty at Harvard’s Kennedy School, an analyst for CNN and CEO of ZEMCAR.

WGBH News coverage is a resource provided by member-supported public radio. We can’t do it without you.