President Trump In Poland, Takes On Russia, North Korea

Thursday, July 6th 2017, 9:27 am
By: News On 6

President Trump called for unity in defending and preserving Western civilization while pressing Russia to halt their support of "hostile regimes" as he addressed the people of Poland on Thursday.

Speaking in Krasinski Square, near the site of the 1944 Warsaw uprising against the Nazis, Mr. Trump spent much of his speech devoted to applauding the spirit and strength of the Polish people, using their repeated takeovers and occupations as a metaphor for standing up in the face of global threats.

"The triumph of the Polish spirit over centuries of hardship gives us all hope in which good conquers evil and peace achieves victory over war," Mr. Trump said.

Urging the crowd to all "fight like the Poles", Mr. Trump said, "Our freedom, our civilization and our survival depend on these bonds of history culture and memory and more than ever. Poland is in our heart and its people are in that fight."

He added, "I declare today for the world to hear the West will never, ever be broken, our values will prevail, our people will thrive and our civilization will triumph."

It was also Mr. Trump's most forceful language to date toward the Russian government, calling on Russia to cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere. He also called on them to drop support for "hostile regimes" in Syria and Iran. After delivering that broadside before a friendly Polish crowd, Mr. Trump then extended an invite to Russia to join the community of responsible nations to defend against terrorism.

CBS News' Margaret Brennan reports the language will resonate with Russian President Vladimir Putin who has been long been selling the idea of partnership with the U.S. to fight extremism in places like Syria. Mr. Trump never mentioned Putin by name but he is laying the groundwork for tomorrow's meeting.

Mr. Trump also doubled down on his calls for NATO members to pay their fair share in defense spending, a campaign promise he reiterated during his first meeting of NATO states in Brussels two months ago.  

"My administration has demanded all members of NATO finally meet their full and fair financial obligation. As a result of this insistence, billions of dollars more have begun to pour into NATO, people are shocked."

"Words are easy but actions are what matters," added Mr. Trump. "For its protection, everyone knows this, Europe must do more."

Mr. Trump arrived in Warsaw Wednesday evening after tweeting about global trade deals shortly before he departed Washington. During his brief visit, he participated in a joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda, in which he said that he's considering some "pretty severe" options in response to North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile test this week.

Mr. Trump will travel to Hamburg, Germany to take part in the G-20 summit of world leaders, and to have his first highly-anticipated meeting with Putin. The two leaders have spoken on the phone but have not yet formally met in person. They'll meet Friday on the sidelines of the summit.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.