(CNSNews.com) – “Rest assured, that the president and I strongly support a free and independent press,” Vice President Mike Pence told a news conference Monday at NATO headquarters in Brussels.
“But you can anticipate that the president and all of us will continue to call out the media when they play fast and loose with the facts.”
Trump made headlines on Saturday, when he told a rally in Melbourne, Fla., “The fake news media — failing “New York Times,” NBC News, ABC, CBS, CNN, is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people.”
The comment sparked an uproar in the media, with some liberal journalists crying that Trump is on the road to dictatorship.
Pence told European leaders on Monday, “The truth is, we have in President Trump someone who has a unique ability to speak directly to the American people. And when the media gets it wrong, I promise you, President Trump will take his case straight to the American people to set the American people straight.”
Pence, in response to another question, said he was “disappointed” to learn that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had withheld information from him but he supports President Trump’s decision to dismiss Flynn.
And relaying a message to NATO from President Trump, Pence said, “It is my privilege here at the NATO headquarters, to express the strong support of President Trump and the United States of America for NATO and our trans-Atlantic alliance.”
He said the Trump administration, working with Congress, is developing plans to ensure that the strongest military in the world — the U.S. military — “becomes stronger still.”
But Pence said Europe’s defense requires Europe’s commitment, and all NATO members must plan to contribute at least two percent of their GDP to their collective defense. Pence noted that only the United States and four other NATO members are now meeting the minimum two percent target, and he said members who don’t have a plan to boost their financial contribution must “get one.”
It is time for actions, not words, Pence said.
But he would not or could not say what might happen if NATO members fail to pony up: He said future decisions will be left in the future.