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Trump fist-bumped Turkey’s strongman Erdoğan for “doing things the right way”

Turkey's leader feels no need to consult his own parliament on military spending.

by Christianna Silva
Jul 16 2018, 3:11pm

President Trump fist-bumped Turkey's president during the NATO summit for “doing things the right way,” according to Eurasia Group president and CBS News senior global affairs contributor Ian Bremmer.

While Trump offered sharp criticism of America’s NATO allies during last week's summit, he praised President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, an autocrat whose guards beat protesters on American soil, for saying he would bypass Turkey's parliament to increase its military spending.

The president was frustrated that the leaders of other countries weren’t committing to spend more money on NATO — and suggested that countries should raise their contributions to 4 percent of GDP from 2 percent, which only a few meet. (The U.S. spends more money on NATO than any other country, a topic Trump has been focusing on for weeks).

Read: Erdoğan is mad his guards face arrest for attacking protesters in D.C.

According to Bremmer, most of the leaders responded by saying they couldn’t just commit to spending more money: There’s a process, and they have to ask their parliaments.

“Trump turns around to the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and says, ‘except for Erdoğan over here, he does things the right way,’ and then actually fist-bumps the Turkish president,” Bremmer said on CBS.

According to Bremmer, this kind of comradery between Trump and Erdoğan makes the rest of the European countries uncomfortable.

“Turkey is hardly a liberal democracy at this point,” he said.

Cover image: U.S. President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attend the opening ceremony at the 2018 NATO Summit at NATO headquarters on July 11, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)