Speed Reads

History Lesson

Trump claims EU was formed so member states could treat U.S. 'badly'

While addressing the nation's governors at the White House on Monday, President Trump took a shot at the European Union and NATO.

NATO, he said, was "going down like a rocket ship" before he came in and saved the day by convincing other member states to contribute more money. But he seemed generally pleased with the direction things are going. That's not the case for the EU, which Trump claimed is treating the United States "very badly."

Trump even argued one of the "primary reasons" the EU was formed was so its member states could pick on the U.S, which is a claim that doesn't really have much going for it historically. The EU is the final stage of a progression of a continent-wide economic community that was first implemented in the aftermath of World War II. Seeking to avoid a third conflict on such a scale, European leaders at the time sought to create a cooperative system in which countries could trade with little hindrance. Eventually, that morphed into the current EU, which has expanded beyond just economic unity.

The supranational organization obviously hasn't always seen eye to eye with the U.S. on all matters, but it's a reach to say those disagreements were the reason it was formed in the first place.