World leaders laugh as Biden takes swipe at Trump in behind-closed-doors summit

The US President told leaders at an emergency NATO summit on the Ukraine-Russia war: “Please don’t mistake me for my predecessor. He didn’t treat you very well”

Boris Johnson and Joe Biden in the NATO summit earlier today
Boris Johnson and Joe Biden in the NATO summit earlier today

World leaders laughed as Joe Biden took a swipe at Donald Trump ’s expense today.

The US President poked fun at his predecessor as he attended an emergency NATO summit in Brussels.

During his four years in the White House, Mr Trump branded the military alliance “obsolete” and berated allies for failing to spend enough on defence.

Addressing NATO leaders in a behind-closed-doors session, Mr Biden backed the previous incumbent’s stance on member countries pumping more cash into their armed forces.

But he added: “Please don’t mistake me for my predecessor. He didn’t treat you very well.”

A Western official said: “That got a round of laughter in the room.”

Former US President Donald Trump addresses the crowd during a rally sponsored by Save America



It came after the alliance agreed to step up measures to protect Ukraine and members of the 30-country alliance from a Russian chemical or nuclear attack.

Secretary general Jens Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels: “Today we agreed to do more including cyber-security assistance and equipment to help Ukraine protect against biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear threats.”

This could include detection equipment, protection and medical supplies, as well as training for decontamination and “crisis management”.

Mr Stoltenberg said Nato’s chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence elements had been activated and “we are taking measures both to support Ukraine and to defend ourselves”.

Asked whether the move was based on credible intelligence, Mr Stoltenberg said: “We are concerned, partly because we see the rhetoric and we see that Russia is trying to create some kind of pretext – accusing Ukraine, the United States, Nato allies – for preparing to use chemical and biological weapons.”

Earlier Ukrainian President Voldymyr Zelensky urged NATO chiefs to send tanks and warplanes to his war-torn country so forces can repel Russian invaders.

US President Joe Biden



In a passionate video link plea to an emergency summit at the coalition’s headquarters, he warned leaders from the organisation’s 30 member countries that delays to vital equipment were costing lives.

He fumed: “You have thousands of fighter jets but we haven’t been given any yet.

“We asked for tanks so that we can unblock our cities that are now dying – Mariupol, Berdyansk, Melitopol, others – cities where Russia is keeping hundreds of thousands of people hostage and artificially creating famine; no water, no food, nothing there.

“You have at least 20,000 tanks; Ukraine asked for a percent – one percent of all your tanks to be given or sold to us – but we do not have a clear answer yet.

“The worst thing during the war is not having clear answers to requests for help.”

Despite military strategists saying that Kremin warplanes have failed to gain air superiority, Mr Zelensky said “their advantage in the sky is like the use of weapons of mass destruction”.

US President Joe Biden, President of France Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Boris Johnson



He told NATO leaders including Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson : “You see the consequences today – how many people were killed, how many peaceful cities were destroyed.”

He railed against Moscow for using “its entire arsenal against us” which “destroys all living things, any objects – from houses to churches, from food warehouses to universities, from bridges to hospitals ”.

Mr Zelensky added: “We just want to save our people, we want to survive.”

Boris Johnson is understood to have asked allies to question whether they have done enough to support Ukraine.

According to a UK official, the Prime Minister said: “We all want Putin to come to his senses, put his tanks into reverse – he’s gonna grind on, only has forward gears.

“He’s already crossed the red line into barbarism.

“The heroism of the Ukrainians has fundamentally changed the geopolitics of Europe…

“People will ask, ‘did we do enough’? I don’t think we can deny them in their moment of agony. We have the means and they have need.”

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