Two cringeworthy, viral video clips from Vice President Mike Pence’s recent trip to Europe illustrate how unpopular the Trump administration has become with the United States’ European allies.
During a speech at a conference in Poland about Middle East policy last Thursday, Pence called on America’s allies to follow the Trump administration in withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal.
“The time has come for our European partners to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, and join with us as we bring the economic and diplomatic pressure necessary to give the Iranian people, the region, and the world the peace, security, and freedom they deserve,” Pence said.
He paused, expecting his audience to applaud. Instead, he was met with total silence. Visibly surprised by the reception, the VP took a deep breath and shook his head before proceeding with his speech.
OMG -- Pence was visibly shook in Poland when he received absolutely no reaction to what was clearly supposed to be an applause line about how "the time has come for our European partners to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal." pic.twitter.com/biRxARZkcM— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 16, 2019
Pence traveled from Poland to Munich, where he gave a speech at another security conference that also quickly became uncomfortable.
Pence began by saying he brought “greetings from the 45th president of the United States of America — President Donald Trump.” He paused for applause, but again was met with complete and utter silence.
Pence wasn’t the only Trump administration official who had an awkward time in Munich. White House counselor and first daughter Ivanka Trump was one of the few people in attendance at German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s speech who didn’t applaud when Merkel pointed out the absurdity of Trump’s position that German cars present a national security threat.
Ivanka Trump is the only person in audience who doesn’t applaud after Angela Merkel points out the absurdity of Trump claiming German cars are a national security threat pic.twitter.com/Op11wls73R— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 16, 2019
These clips illustrate how longtime US allies have given up on Trump
The New York Times reported that at the Munich conference, “the rift between Europe and the Trump administration became open, angry and concrete,” in part because of Trump’s “distaste for multilateralism and international cooperation.”
As was the case in Poland, Pence reportedly “met stony silence” during his speech in Munich when he called for US allies to follow Trump’s lead and withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.
During her speech, Merkel criticized the Trump administration on a number of fronts, including the president’s recent decision to pull out of a treaty with Russia banning land-based intermediate-range missiles, and his announcement that American troops will be leaving Syria and Afghanistan.
“After the fall of the Berlin Wall, we certainly had the hope ... that we could come to a better cooperation,” Merkel said. “Today, in 2019, that seems like a long time ago ... [but] in a few years, it could look very different again.”