Cameron defends ‘entirely proper’ assembly with Trump as he claims he’s not in US to ‘lecture anybody’ on Ukraine funding | EUROtoday

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Former President Donald Trump held a gathering with David Cameron on Monday night, someday earlier than the international secretary was due in Washington to fulfill together with his counterpart within the Biden administration, Antony Blinken.

The ex-president dined with Lord Cameron at his Mar-a-Lago property the place the 2 mentioned a variety of subjects together with Brexit, Ukraine, and the Nato alliance, based on a readout from Mr Trump’s staff. The two have been joined by Karen Pierce, the British ambassador to the United States.

“Among the topics discussed were the upcoming US and UK elections, policy matters specific to Brexit, the need for NATO countries to meet their defense spending requirements, and ending the killing in Ukraine,” learn an announcement from the Trump marketing campaign.

It continued: “President Trump, Secretary Cameron and Ambassador Pierce also discussed their mutual admiration for the late Queen Elizabeth II.”

Lord Cameron went on to defend the optics of that assembly as “entirely proper” on Tuesday at a joint presser alongside Mr Blinken, noting that US officers had lately met with Labour chief Keir Starmer and his personal previous assembly with Mitt Romney when Mr Romney, now a retiring one-term senator from Utah, was working for president.

He declined to enter specifics about his dialog with the previous president whereas stressing that he was not planning to “lecture anybody” on the significance of funding Ukraine’s defence in opposition to a Russian invasion drive. The former prime minister’s previous criticism of Mr Trump doubtless made the Monday dinner a considerably awkward affair on Mr Cameron’s half, although the twice-impeached ex-president is greater than used to critics turning over a brand new leaf. Lord Cameron was quizzed on his previous references to Mr Trump as a misogynist and criticism of his “protectionist” worldview on Tuesday as he stood earlier than reporters on the State Department. Unshaking in his refusal to be drawn right into a battle with Mr Trump or anybody else, the international secretary refused to touch upon the assembly with Trump itself whereas explaining that he typically dropped diplomatic “niceties” over the difficulty of Ukraine as a result of the difficulty made him “emotional”.

“It’s the right thing for us to [help Ukraine],” an impassioned Lord Cameron advised reporters.

Mr Trump has not commented on the assembly in a publish to his Truth Social account and even launched his personal assertion via representatives. In typical vogue, the previous president’s feed on Tuesday was consumed with re-truths of articles attacking the credibility of the prison instances in opposition to him, his 2024 rival Joe Biden, and the mainstream media.

Other particulars surrounding the dinner have been sparse.

The relevance of Lord Cameron’s go to to Mar-a-Lago may hardly be greater; his journey comes as Mr Trump is elevating extra questions than ever earlier than about the way forward for the Nato alliance — attributable to mark its seventy fifth anniversary this yr. The ex-president raised alarm bells throughout Europe and in Washington in February with a comment at a marketing campaign rally concerning the alliance and its Article 5 mutual defence pledge.

“If we don’t pay and we’re attacked by Russia, will you protect us?” Trump on the time claimed to recollect a Nato member-state’s chief asking him, recalling a second of his presidency. He then claimed to have responded: “No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want.”

That quip was labelled by many as an invite to Russia for additional predations in Ukraine and future confrontations with Nato members who fail to fulfill the alliance’s defence spending benchmarks. Most members of the alliance don’t meet the said objectives of spending two per cent of their respective nations’ GDP on defence.

It was instantly pounced on by the Biden marketing campaign whereas Republicans in Washington DC spent a information cycle dodging questions or explaining away the president’s rhetoric in cable information interviews.

Now, Mr Trump has seemingly softened his supposed menace, however the intent of his rhetoric has not shifted.

“Why should we guard these countries that have a lot of money?” he requested Brexit architect Nigel Farage in an interview in March.

“Now they’re paying because of those comments that you saw two or three weeks ago,” he added to Mr Farage. “I don’t know if you know, but a lot of money’s come in since those comments were made. Nato was not paying.”

Those feedback referred to a report which emerged a couple of days after his preliminary remarks — the outcomes of months of politicking between Nato nations, not Mr Trump’s menace — indicating that 18 Nato nations have been on track to fulfill defence targets this yr.

Mr Trump stays the presumptive Republican nominee for president after defeating his closing rival within the GOP major, Nikki Haley, in March.