With the government shutdown behind them, Congressional delegations, led by Nancy Pelosi headed to Munich, Germany where they began what the Washington Post called a “Reassurance Tour” for America’s allies worried about Donald Trump. From The Washington Post:
After six straight weeks focused on the domestic funding fight over border security, Pelosi’s new majority is making its first global tour.
Her delegation is one of four in Munich, more than 50 members of Congress all told, taking up the mantle that was once the providence of the late senator John McCain (R-Ariz.). His close friends referred to his 2017 appearance at the gathering as his first act as “secretary of reassurance” in the Trump era.
The Munich Security Conference is an annual event that began during the Cold War. American politicians and diplomats have long used the occasion to consult with European allies on mutual security. But the goodwill was put on ice two years ago when Donald Trump talked of isolationism and whether NATO cost too much. European leaders have been on edge.
And they couldn’t have been reassured by Mike Pence. From The Guardian:
“Describing the results of Donald Trump’s presidency as “remarkable” and “extraordinary“, the vice-president told senior European and Asian officials the European Union should follow the US in quitting the Iran nuclear deal and recognising the head of Venezuela’s congress, Juan Guaido, as president.”
Listen to the reaction Pence received when he told the group he brought greetings from Donald Trump. What should have been an applause line was met with silence.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel got a rousing reception when she said she was shocked that Donald Trump thought European cars were a threat to American national security. She said the largest BMW plant was not in Germany but South Carolina. The U.S. Department of Commerce could decide soon whether to impose tariffs on European cars.
And Merkel had a lot more to say. She questioned the wisdom of leaving the Iranian nuclear deal, and whether it was smart for the U.S. to withdraw troops from Syria.