Donald Trump Jr. is tweeting about free rides without a single molecule of irony.
On Saturday, President Trump’s eldest son responded angrily to a story about NATO leaders laughing at Trump while he was giving a speech. One of Trump’s most controversial moments during his nine-day trip overseas was his refusal to assure fellow NATO member countries that the United States would remain committed to Article 5 of the NATO treaty (the collective defense promise).
“They laughed more when they didn’t have to pay,” tweeted the son of the billionaire real estate mogul who grew up in one of the richest areas of New York City without having to pay for anything. “Be as snide as you want but you’re going to finally pay your share.”
“The free ride is over!” Trump Jr. added.
They laughed more when they didn't have to pay. Be as snide as you want but you're going to finally pay your share. The free ride is over! https://t.co/mXBvknF5Zx
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) May 27, 2017
Trump Jr.’s tweet is especially moronic considering that the collective defense section of the NATO treaty had never been invoked until after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, in which NATO troops were sent to Afghanistan, with many giving their lives in the South Asian nation immediately following the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. NATO’s website describes the first-ever invocation of Article 5:
The United States was the object of brutal terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001. The Alliance’s 1999 Strategic Concept had already identified terrorism as one of the risks affecting NATO’s security. The Alliance’s response to 9/11, however, saw NATO engage actively in the fight against terrorism, launch its first operations outside the Euro-Atlantic area and begin a far-reaching transformation of its capabilities. Moreover, it led NATO to invoke Article 5 of the Washington Treaty for the very first time in its history.
The tweets responding to Trump Jr.’s ignorant tweet are scathing, particularly the ones that remind him he is the recipient of a lifelong “free ride,” and that the supposed freeloading European countries were the ones that came through for America in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Others reminded Trump Jr. that Saudi Arabia, which many have directly funded some of the 9/11 attackers, got a free pass from his father.
@DonaldJTrumpJr Free ride? You think over 1000 NATO allies dead in Afghanistan fighting under ArticleV for us after 9/11 is a free ride?? You're despicable.
— Celia Boyce (@C_BOYCE) May 27, 2017
— M.Bell (@NewBlackScholar) May 27, 2017
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) May 27, 2017
@DonaldJTrumpJr You have literally never earned a thing in your life.
— Dennis Perkins (@DennisPerkins5) May 27, 2017
@DonaldJTrumpJr Free ride is over? Ironic coming from a member of the lucky sperm club.
— bozeika (@bozeika) May 27, 2017
— Mike Murphy (@mikemnyc) May 27, 2017
@DonaldJTrumpJr does anyone in your family know how NATO works?
— Ian Fortey (@IanFortey) May 27, 2017
@DonaldJTrumpJr They're not laughing at having to pay, they're laughing at how boorish your father is.
— Jared Logan (@JaredLogan) May 27, 2017
Jamie Green is a contributor to the Resistance Report covering the Trump administration, and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.