Throughout the week, Obama has spoken at nearly every opportunity about the United States’ “unwavering” commitment to the alliance as one that transcends politics.
“NATO, the world’s greatest alliance, is as strong and as ready as it’s ever been,” Obama said in an address to the Greek people Wednesday. “And I am confident that just as America’s commitment to the transatlantic alliance has endured for seven decades -- whether it’s been under a Democratic or Republican administration -- that commitment will continue, including our pledge and our treaty obligation to defend every ally.”
And he’s making sure everyone in Europe hears that the president-elect specifically offered him assurances that the strength of the U.S.'s commitment will remain unchanged under a Trump administration, though it's unclear what assurances Trump did, in fact, offer the current commander-in-chief in their Oval Office meeting following the election last week, if any.
During the campaign, Trump criticized NATO as “obsolete” and suggested a Trump administration wouldn’t automatically rush to the defense of a NATO member from a hypothetical Russian attack if that member hadn’t lived up to its financial obligations under the alliance.
But in the final weeks before election, Trump struck a very different note on NATO -- expressing commitment to the alliance and even arguing that it would be bolstered on his watch.
"When I am president, we will strengthen NATO," Trump said during a speech in late September.