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The Daily Beast Can’t Fact Check Either March 20, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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The Daily Beast gets this one completely wrong. (“Either” in the title refers to WaPo’s notoriously bad fact-checking)

Apparently President Trump tweeted this on Saturday:

…Germany owes vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!

The Daily Beast then ponderously points out that there is no NATO bank account for Germany’s money, so Germany doesn’t actually “owe” anything. It has just not kept up with its promised military expenditures. They point this out, then quote the Brookings Institute on the matter, then mention other (anonymous) experts who concur.

But none of that matters.

Trump is, as usual, staking out a negotiating position. He is speaking of a moral debt and an unfulfilled treaty obligation, not actual cash due to some bank account. There’s no question that Germany has been falling 40% short of its NATO obligations for years, as admitted by the Daily Beast. Trump wants use that fact to guilt Germany into a vulnerable position in future negotiations.

And what exactly is he after? He says he wants compensation for the US’s expenditures to protect Germany (and Europe). He probably won’t get it, but he’ll get something. Which is awesome.

The Daily Beast rated Trump’s tweet as “False.” I would rate their rating as “Stupid Critique and Waste of Bandwidth Based on a Misunderstanding of Trump’s Tweet.”

Treating a moral statement as a bank ledger is a silly mistake: the kind of mistake made by rabid anti-Trumpites. So I guess we know where they stand.

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