President Donald Trump's frosty relationship with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) resulted in cancelation of a celebration involving heads of state, The New York Times reported Monday.
Citing senior administration officials, The Times reported Trump privately said he wanted to withdraw from NATO "several times over the course of 2018."
Retired Adm. James G. Stavridis, the former supreme allied commander of NATO, said Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin won just by Trump mentioning the subject.
“Even discussing the idea of leaving NATO — let alone actually doing so — would be the gift of the century for Putin,” Stavridis said.
America's allies have fretted Trump's attacks on the organization.
"NATO had planned to hold a leaders meeting in Washington to mark its 70th anniversary in April, akin to the 50-year celebration that was hosted by President Bill Clinton in 1999," The Times reported. "But this year’s meeting has been downgraded to a foreign ministers gathering, as some diplomats feared that Mr. Trump could use a Washington summit meeting to renew his attacks on the alliance."