As tensions heat up between the United States and Iran, reporters asked President Donald Trump whether or not he wants America’s NATO allies to become involved in the conflict. But instead of jumping into this philosophy on what he envisions from countries like Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom in the Middle East, he launched into a rant about the Village People song “YMCA.”
Trump has faced backlash for killing Iran military leader Qassem Soleimani, fanning the flames of tension with Iran. When asked about the situation, Trump told reporters, according to a CNN YouTube video, that he spoke to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg yesterday and claimed he was “excited” by the idea of sending NATO allies into the region. It was the name of the potential alliance that Trump was excited to share as well.
“And I actually had a name,” Trump stated. “NATO — right? And then you have ‘ME’ -Middle East. You’d call it, NATOME.”
“I said, ‘What a beautiful name,'” Trump added. “NATOME — I’m good at names, right? USMCA — like the song, ‘YMCA.’ Nobody could remember … I said, ‘think of the song, ‘YMCA,” now everybody says it. They don’t remember the previous name of a bad deal, commonly known as NAFTA.”
“NATOME, doesn’t that work beautifully? NATO plus ME.” he said before chiding the reporter who asked the question for not laughing at his comments.
“He’s not getting it,” Trump said.
Trump's rant about nobody remembering NAFTA and how he named his trade deal after a Villiage People song is a sign that he is not well., pic.twitter.com/6UYp6y51Fv— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) January 9, 2020
When another reporter pushed him again to address the original question about asking allies to enter the region, the president went on to answer the question. He stated that he believes that the U.S. should be able to leave the region and expect NATO allies to address the issue in the Middle East, asserting that the U.S. had completely eliminated the caliphate in the region. As Vox reported in February when Trump originally made the claim about eliminating the threat, while the caliphate in Syria and Iraq has been eliminated, the terrorists who inhabited the territory are still present and organized.
He also repeated his frequent criticism of NATO, saying that the U.S. pays a majority of the costs and that he expects other countries to contribute more to the alliance. The president claimed that he pushed most of the other countries to contribute $130 billion more than they had in the past.
He went on to claim that Stoltenberg loved him for getting more money, and he believes that NATO should work to defeat the Islamic State.