Former White House officials who served under Barack Obama are criticizing President Donald Trump’s repeated calls for NATO partner states to contribute more funds — both in absolute terms and as a share of their respective GDPs — to NATO’s operational costs.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry described Trump’s Wednesday comments at a NATO breakfast meeting in Brussels, Belgium, as “counterproductive,” “disgraceful,” and “destructive.” He also said Trump is “[setting] America back” and “destroying [America’s] reputation in the world.”

My thoughts on President Trump’s remarks in Brussels this morning: pic.twitter.com/x0k3k0lOkA

— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) July 11, 2018

Former CIA Director John Brennan agreed with Kerry’s criticisms of Trump’s position towards NATO partner states’ funding of NATO. He invited “NATO leaders” to “push back against the reckless behavior of Donald Trump.”

It is in the interest of America’s security if NATO leaders push back against the reckless behavior of Donald Trump, who is dangerously naive & grossly ignorant of how the world works. History inevitably will regard Trump as one of the most disastrous figures of the 21st century. https://t.co/vZYbOSblwo

— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) July 11, 2018

Former National Security Council member Ben Rhodes insinuated that Russian president Vladimir Putin was orchestrating Trump’s actions — a “return on investment.”

Former UN Ambassador Samantha Power framed Trump as a destroyer of U.S. alliances.

With his patented mix of incompetence, personal corruption, malice, and inability to think more than one tweet ahead, @realdonaldtrump has managed to convince many of our closest allies that partnership w/ the US is structurally unreliable.

— Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) May 31, 2018

Such a doom loop. Trump loves being loved. He lives for it. Yet he has insulted our NATO allies so often that he is despised by their publics. When he travels to these democracies, he is ridiculed, making him further crave the cozy embrace of the murderous dictators he flatters. https://t.co/Lyw1h2zp65

— Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) July 10, 2018

 

Former Obama administration speechwriter Jon Favreau caricatured the president’s supporters as unaware of or disinterested in Trump’s approach towards NATO.

Ari with the very astute “NATO is why Trump won” take.

— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) July 11, 2018

I know, it’s crazy how many voters made their decision based on European NATO contributions. https://t.co/JcLU83RBEx

— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) July 11, 2018

Former presidential spokesperson Tommy Vietor mocked Ari Fleischer’s description of European states as insufficiently funding NATO.

Behold this historically stupid take! https://t.co/mOWFk2lR3Q

— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) July 11, 2018

Former Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro cast Trump’s approach on NATO funding as aligning with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s desires, and of “drifting toward Russia.”

They have never been closer. Because they have never had a President of the United States pursuing the same goals. https://t.co/8B0d1n78lV

— Dan Shapiro (@DanielBShapiro) July 11, 2018

Be serious. Trump’s behavior is not about the valid pursuit of 2% targets. It is about poisoning and weakening the bonds of the alliance, in which he places no value. https://t.co/Vjwjd8qvxl

— Dan Shapiro (@DanielBShapiro) July 11, 2018

Well, since NATO’s most important member is also drifting toward Russia, why would he? https://t.co/VLicupYDW7

— Dan Shapiro (@DanielBShapiro) July 11, 2018

The chorus of outrage reflects longstanding opposition to Trump’s America-First stance. In 2017, former UN Ambassador and National Security Advisor Susan Rice described Trump’s call for greater funding of NATO operations by NATO partner states as an American abdication of global leadership.

It’s almost as if he is inviting Putin to mess with a small country on NATO’s eastern flank. https://t.co/vuWKFGkva6

— Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) December 10, 2017

Today, we abdicated America’s global leadership for the foreseeable future. And, we sold out our kids, grandkids & allies. Nice job, guys!

— Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) June 2, 2017