According to the Iowan Republican, Trump’s anti-NATO rhetoric is meant to put pressure on the group to act more sternly with Russia — an issue the host suggested was never made explicit during the summit so far.
“Would you have liked for President Trump to bring up that point?” Camerota asked Grassley.
“Well, don’t you think that he — that it’s evident?” the senator retorted. “He doesn’t have to bring it up.”
“I don’t know about that, senator,” she responded. “I don’t know where he stands with Russia.”
But Grassley was already cutting her off.
“It is evident that Russia is in Crimea, Russia is threatening the Baltics, Russia is in Ukraine,” the senator said. “You know that.”
Camerota responded that she was aware of Russia’s incursions, but wanted to know how it’s “evident” to Grassley that that’s the reason for Trump’s NATO aggression.
She continued to push as Grassley skirted the question, asking him for specific evidence that Trump’s “adversarial” tone is about Russia, to which he responded that it’s clear because NATO is “spending more money.”
“So you are comfortable with the message and tone he started the NATO summit with?” the host asked.
“I don’t want to ever say that I’m comfortable with anything,” Grassley said.
Watch the entire interaction below, via CNN: