The Washington Post reported May 30th,
As they campaign against each other ahead of national elections in September, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her chief political rival, Martin Schulz, find themselves united in opposition to President Trump.
Speaking at a beer hall rally in Munich on Sunday, Merkel suggested that the era when Europe could rely on the United States may be coming to an end and that the continent “really must take our fate into our own hands.”
The dramatic announcement came after contentious meetings with Trump, who had used his first official trip to Europe to criticize German trade, scold world leaders about their NATO spending and refuse to commit to the Paris agreement on combating climate change.
Schulz, a former president of the European Parliament, is the head of the center-left Social Democrats. He is easily the most convincing challenger to Merkel’s 11-year reign as chancellor and a charismatic leader in his own right. Yet rather than criticize his rival or her Christian Democratic Union-led government for the strained relationship with Trump, Schulz has passionately offered support.
Meanwhile, The New York Times reported May 29th,
VERSAILLES, France — France’s newly elected president, Emmanuel Macron, came out of his first meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Monday with a message of stark challenge, promising French military reprisals for any use of chemical weapons by Russia’s allies in Syria and saying he would closely monitor the curtailing of civil rights for gay people in Chechnya.
Against the gilded backdrop of the Palace of Versailles, Mr. Macron and Mr. Putin pledged to work with each other to fight terrorism. But their body language was at times tense, and the sometimes confrontational tone of the meeting was made clear in Mr. Macron’s comments afterward during a joint news conference, where he signaled his intent to play a forceful role on the global stage and not be cowed by other world leaders.
Macron used the opportunity to blast the Russians state owned media operations for engaging in propaganda to undermine elections.
PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a blunt greeting to Vladimir Putin on Monday, criticizing the use of chemical weapons by Syria’s Russian-backed government and blasting two Russian state-owned media organizations as “organs of influence and propaganda.”
By comparison, after our U. S. Intelligence community concluded the Russians interfered in our election, our President’s son-in-law and close advisor sought to have secret back channel meetings with the Russians using their secure communications systems. Trump has praised Putin for being a strong leader. He has avoided any opportunity to criticize Putin. Hillary Clinton famously described him as Putin’s Puppet. The conservative columnist George Will shares her concern.
Trump has actually adopted a strategy of praising dictators. The Los Angeles Times reported on May 2nd,
The president of the Philippines, who unleashed vigilante killings at home, is welcome at the White House. So is Thailand’s prime minister, who took power in a military coup. And Turkey’s president, who jailed thousands of opponents, got a congratulatory call.
This is not business as usual for U.S. presidents.
Trump’s advisors portray his public praise for foreign dictators and his willingness to meet with ruthless autocrats, without preconditions in most cases, as a way to shore up shaky alliances and possibly unlock long-frozen conflicts in the Middle East and across Asia.
In his short tenure as our president, Donald Trump has changed a number of things. No change is perhaps more important than the way he has changed our standing in the world. After 9/11, the democracies around to world stood with us. We led the free world. The other side of Merkel’s comments Sunday is that the situation has changed. After, Trump, we no longer lead the free world. We are now on our own.
The dossier developed by Christopher Steele states that a Russian financial official said,
The Trump operation should be seen in terms of Putin’s desire to return to Nineteenth Century “Great Power’ politics anchored upon countries’ interests rather than the ideals-based international order established after World War Two. S/he overheard Putin talking in this way to close associates on several occasions (page 2).
The “ideals-based international order established after World War Two” was based on the ideals of freedom and democracy. It is clearly not in the interest of the Russians for the free world to be unified. Obama and Merkel brought the democracies of the world together. When Trump goes around the world complaining about our allies not paying their fare share for NATO and conspicuously avoiding any mention of article 5, he helps the Russians accomplish their goal. We have evidence this is exactly why they helped get him elected.