President Trump touted his international influence as he met with representatives of the United Nations Security Council at the White House over lunch on Thursday, after returning from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in London. During the lunch, Mr. Trump said the U.S. is considering trade actions against NATO members that fail to pay the agreed-upon 2% of GDP toward defense, emphasizing that his push to get members to pay more has been effective thus far.
“We may do things having to do with trade. It’s not fair that they get U.S. protection and they’re not putting up their money and they’re really, I call them, I use that term, delinquent. That’s exactly what they are,” Mr. Trump said, seated alongside U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Kelly Kraft, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and representatives from around the world.
The luncheon came after awkward moments for the president on the international stage at the NATO summit — a summit the president is calling “tremendous success,” even as he canceled a scheduled news conference after world leaders were caught on camera appearing to mock him.
The lunch with international leaders also followed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s call Thursday morning for the drafting of articles of impeachment against him.
“Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders, and a heart full of love for America, today I am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment,” Pelosi said on Capitol Hill.
Mr. Trump said Thursday he isn’t concerned about impeachment staining his legacy, repeating his line that the entire process is a “hoax.”
The president responded to Pelosi’s announcement over Twitter earlier in the day, warning that the move to impeach him now “will mean that the beyond important and seldom used act of Impeachment will be used routinely to attack future Presidents.” He continued, “That is not what our Founders had in mind.” He also exhorted Democrats to impeach him quickly — “do it now, fast” — so that he might have a “fair trial in the Senate.”
Three constitutional scholars argued before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that the president’s actions have constituted impeachable offenses. One argued they did not rise to that level. The committee is holding its next impeachment hearing on Monday.
But Mr. Trump addressed other pressing international issues as well, including the protests in Iran. Mr. Trump reiterated that the U.S. supports Iranian protesters.