On Sunday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel signaled an end to an era in trans-Atlantic relations.
Speaking at an election rally in Munich, she said that the US and the UK are no longer reliable partners for Germany and that Europe must be prepared to go it alone.
Many experts and commentators are calling it a “watershed moment”:
This is an era-defining moment. https://t.co/01NpEriRvv
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) May 28, 2017
Merkel saying Europe cannot rely on others & needs to take matters into its own hands is a watershed-& what US has sought to avoid since WW2
— Richard N. Haass (@RichardHaass) May 28, 2017
Unprecedented fighting talk from Merkel as she says last few days have showed her that Europe cannot rely on US anymore. Wow. pic.twitter.com/bId3wNOTFj
— James Rothwell (@JamesERothwell) May 28, 2017
But Jim Hoft, the founder of the popular conservative political blog, The Gateway Pundit, doesn’t buy it.
The World caught up with Hoft to discuss this and more.
The World: Angela Merkel said that Europeans “need to take [their] destiny into [their] own hands.” What’s your reaction to this?
Jim Hoft: I think if Angela Merkel and the Germans really want to take their destiny into their own hands, they’d start paying their fair share for NATO. I know Trump brought this up during his trip to Europe last week. As far as I understand, there are only five countries that are keeping up to their promises of paying NATO 2 percent of their GDP and Germany isn’t one of them. So, I think that would be a good start.
Up to this point, though, it seems the issue of payments was important but less important than the spirit of NATO. And Trump isn’t backing up Article 5, which says an attack on one is an attack on all members. So, don’t you feel we’re losing out and maybe NATO is winning?
I think NATO is a vital alliance. I think Donald Trump believes that too. … But Angela Merkel’s … certainly not dealing with Barack Obama anymore. Donald Trump is much more brash, more open, more direct and doesn’t speak through filters. So it’s going to be a different club at the G-7, at NATO, with the Trump administration in charge.
Let’s say that Germany and the US do end up going their separate ways, whatever that looks like. How would that be a good thing for the US?
I just don’t see that happening. Germany and the US are just so entrenched with defense, with trade ... and I think it would be devastating if that was a decision that Germany wanted to make. But I just don’t see a lot of things changing as much as the media is playing this out.
International cooperation has been the benchmark of how the globe operates pretty much since the end of World War II, just trying to keep nationalism at heel. How important do you think that is?
I think cooperation is extremely important. I think this administration believes that too. Trump isn’t going to isolate the United States. And I don’t think we saw that was his intention at all.
Don’t you think that’s already happened by virtue of the way he presents himself in the world?
That’s certainly an argument. But if you look at what he did in Saudi Arabia, that certainly wasn’t an isolationist move. He had 50 Arab leaders there, Muslim leaders, to talk about radical Islam. That isn’t an isolationist there. That’s a leader. So I think you can say what you want about him being an isolationist, but if you look at some of his actions rather than his words ... we’re seeing a completely different leader.
It sounds like you still support the idea of "America first." Are you concerned it could end up by being "America alone"?
Not at all. The world depends on the United States. And the United States depends on the world. I think the world is going to win. And I think the United States is going to win too.
Changing topics: Overall, do the investigations into the Russia links bother you?
You know, I’ve covered them extensively at the Gateway Pundit. I think it’s unnerving that there has been so much leaking going on. But in terms of the investigation itself, we still haven’t seen any sign of collusion. We still haven’t seen any illegal behavior. So the media continues to put out these screaming headlines but there is no meat in their story. And I think they’re starting to turn off America more and more.
Even if there’s more evidence, are you willing to stand by that point of view?
I don’t think we’ve seen any evidence of anything! We’ve seen phone calls that are typical of any administration. Today there’s a big report out about how Obama was doing secret negotiations with Russia in 2014. So this isn’t anything new in the United States.
It is the micro-engineering of American elections by Russians that is at issue here. You’re willing to just let that go?
Alan Dershowitz, the renowned lawyer, jurist, author, came out yesterday and said something I thought was just brilliant: They’re trying to indict Trump on anything. They’ve taken the name and now they’re going to try to find some behavior that’s illegal because they don’t like him. This isn’t the Soviet Union. As Dershowitz said, this is Stalinist, what’s happening right now to the Trump administration.
They haven’t found anything illegal, but they just keep hoping that they will. They just keep on throwing mud against the wall and nothing is sticking. If this continues, without any stark evidence of crimes, I think the media is going to lose out and I think the Democratic party is going to lose out. They’re not winning any voters in middle America right now.