Footage showing President Donald Trump shoving aside Prime Minister Dusko Markovic of Montenegro, as he sought his “rightful” place at the front row of a NATO leaders’ group photograph in Brussels, Belgium, went viral online early on Thursday.
The video clip shows Trump pushing through a small crowd consisting of world leaders representing NATO member countries at the organization’s new headquarters in Brussels on Thursday. He was trying to reach the front of the group to take the position reserved for him next to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the British Prime Minister Theresa May.
As he tried to reach the front of the group, Montenegro’s Prime Minister Dusko Markovic was standing in his way. So Trump solved the problem by reaching out and putting his hand on Markovic’s upper arm, and shoving him aside forcefully.
Trump neither apologized nor paid attention to the European leader after he barged past him. The Montenegrin prime minister was at first startled when Trump shoved him aside from behind. But rather than feel offended, the European leader smiled, looking at Trump. But Trump ignored him, acting as if nothing had happened as he looked ahead self-importantly, with pouting lips.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 26, 2017
However, the bizarre moment was captured on camera and it went viral after it was uploaded to Twitter.
— ABC News (@ABC) May 25, 2017
The Montenegrin prime minister finally found his place in the far right end of the back row of the group photograph, while Trump took his place in the front and center of the group photo, standing beside the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, with Prime Minister Theresa May of the U.K.
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) May 25, 2017
Montenegro is a small European country in the Balkans that was part of Yugoslavia until the civil war in 1992. It will become a NATO member officially on June 5, in defiance of Russia which has tried through intimidation to dissuade the country from joining NATO.
The group photograph was taken after Trump had delivered a haranguing speech, giving a stern warning to fellow NATO heads of state to contribute their fair share to NATO and to step up efforts to secure their borders against infiltration by ISIS terrorists.
“Twenty-three of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying for their defense,” Trump declared. “This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States.”
“You have thousands of people pouring into our various countries… and in many cases we have no idea who they are… we must be strong and we must be vigilant.”
Video footage at a NATO summit shows President Trump appearing to push his way to the front of a “family photo” https://t.co/VAPhUTrsaf
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 26, 2017
Trump pushes past Montenegro’s PM https://t.co/osXs7gsjQH
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) May 25, 2017
Some NATO leaders, including Prime Minister Xavier Bettel of Luxembourg and President Emmanuel Macron, were reportedly seen sharing secret side-glances with amused looks in their eyes as Trump lectured sternly from the podium.
Trump had earlier met Emmanuel Macron, France’s new president, in Brussels on Thursday. Footage went viral online showing Trump and France’s youngest leader since Napoleon Bonaparte, locked in a prolonged hand grip contest that was meant as a handshake. The media declared Macron winner of the contest because Trump was the first to withdraw.
— Bloomberg (@business) May 25, 2017
Trump was involved in other mishaps in Brussels on Thursday. He faced accusation from the U.K. of leaking sensitive intelligence. The U.K. authorities said they had stopped sharing information about the Manchester bombing with the U.S. after information and a photo of the bombing that British intelligence shared with their U.S. counterparts were leaked to the media. But the U.K. announced it had resumed sharing information with the U.S. after Trump vowed to investigate the matter.
I HAD TO shove the leader of Montenegro to be in front during our NATO meeting lunch break. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN first in line for any buffet. pic.twitter.com/saE1QhJFry
— Donald J. Trump (@RealDonaldTrFan) May 25, 2017
The German news magazine Der Spiegel, also reported that sources revealed Trump called the Germans “bad, very bad” because of their trade surplus with the U.S.
“The Germans are bad, very bad. Look at the millions of cars they’re selling in the U.S; terrible… we will stop this,” he reportedly told the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk, according to the New York Daily News.
"The Germans are bad, very bad. See the millions of cars they are selling in the U.S. terrible. We will stop this." https://t.co/SZMo3MaXcM
— SPIEGEL English (@SPIEGEL_English) May 25, 2017
He also caused concern and anxiety for some Eastern European NATO members living in fear of Russian military aggression when he failed to make a firm commitment to NATO’s Article 5, the so-called “collective defense clause” which affirms that “an attack on any member is an attack on all.”
[Featured Image by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images]