You might have heard a pin drop when Vice President Mike Pence offered greetings on behalf of President Donald Trump to a Munich security summit on Friday.
There was no applause or cheers — only silence — when Pence said, “I bring greetings from the 45th president of the United States of America, Donald Trump,” according to The Hill.
The annual Munich Security Conference is presenting an inaugural scholarship named in honor of the late Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain. Pence is accompanied by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, Democratic Delaware Sen. Christopher Coons and Democratic Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse.
Pence didn’t come to mince words, as he reminded the collective security club that contributing members “still need to do more” to pay their fair share of the defense bill.
Despite complaints from some NATO countries that the commitment is onerous, all members agreed in 2014 to achieve defense spending at two percent of the of their respective GDPs. NATO’s top civilian has praised Trump for demanding members meet their financial obligations.
Repeating charges recently made by U.S. intelligence chiefs in a presentation to the Senate Intelligence Committee, Pence accused China of stealing technology.
“Under President Trump’s leadership, the United States has also made it clear that China must address the longstanding issues of intellectual-property theft, forced technology transfer, and other structural issues in China that have placed a burden on our economy and on economies around the world,” he said.