At long last, U.S. President Donald Trump endorsed NATO’s bedrock collective defense clause, Article 5, in a press conference Friday. “Absolutely, I’d be committed to Article 5,” he said Friday in response to a question from a journalist, speaking beside Romanian President Klaus Iohannis at the White House. It gives nervous NATO allies something they’ve yearned for since he came to office in January after disparaging the alliance and openly praising its top geopolitical foe, Russia.
But it may not be enough to patch things over with his NATO allies after his visit last month to Brussels, where Trump gave a public tongue lashing that surprised NATO leaders and his national security team alike — because behind closed doors, things were even worse.
After a public showing on May 25 in which Trump refused to endorse NATO’s collective defense clause and famously shoved the Montenegrin leader out of the way, leaders of the 29-member alliance retired to a closed-door dinner that multiple sources tell Foreign Policy left alliance leaders “appalled.”