Asked by Fox News' Tucker Carlson why Americans should be required to defend Montenegro, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, if it came under attack, Mr. Trump said that he had "asked the same question". "Worrying to hear Trump use Russian talking points with Tucker Carlson, about Montenegro", he said in a tweet referring to Trump's Fox News interviewer.
Mr Trump replied: "I understand what you're saying, I've asked the same question. I've asked the same question", the U.S. president replied. They're very strong people, they're very aggressive people. They're very aggressive people.
Leon Neal/ZUMA Press/NewscomMontenegro's foreign minister says his country is "too small" to start World War III. "So let's say Montenegro, which joined previous year, is attacked".
Public officials in the tiny Balkan nation in southeastern Europe didn't know what to say initially when U.S. President Donald Trump suggested tiny Montenegro, which has a military with fewer than 2,000 members, could be the spark that sets off a global Armageddon.
NATO's collective defense clause has been activated only once in the alliance's almost 70-year history - following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S.
"To have the president of the United States, the most powerful member of the alliance, question Nato's principle of solidarity can only work in Russia's favour", he quipped. "We need to strength our aliance by investing more, and I will contineu to call on all allies to do that". He's been vocal about his opposition to NATO and threatened to pull the USA out of the organisation, but he's never once affirmed that he understands its role as a symbol of Western stability.
The Hall of Mirrors where Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin shared a palatial lunch in Finland seemed to have a reality-bending effect long after their summit ended.
"The people of #Montenegro boldly withstood pressure from #Putin's Russian Federation to embrace democracy", McCain said on Twitter.
Asked whether Putin "outplayed" Trump, Continetti said it's hard to make that conclusion because it's unclear what was agreed to in their meeting. "Their summit declaration that came out at the end of the summit stated clearly that any attack against one ally will be regarded as an attack against all".
That being said, Montenegro is in Europe's most geopolitical fraught region and because of this, there is a great amount of truth to what Trump states.
McCain expounded on his views in an op-ed piece for USA Today, in which he pointed to the recent indictments of two Russians in connection with an alleged coup attempt in late 2016 in Montenegro.
The comments drew immediate outrage and ridicule from commentators. At NATO, Trump blasted the Germany-to-Russia Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, declaring "it's a very bad thing for NATO". The statement was published alongside a photo of Vice President Pence in Montenegro previous year. "So if you allow it to happen, why are you complaining about it?" The opposition Democratic Front, whose supporters clashed repeatedly with police at demonstrations in autumn 2015, was accused by the country's now President (then prime minister) Milo Djukanovic of taking funds from Russian Federation with the aim of creating an impression of instability in Montenegro.
Now that resilience and commitment - so much praised in 2017 - has turned into aggressiveness and a possible trigger of World War III. That's not "America First" in his eyes.