Trump in Warsaw: What He Said (and Why It Matters)

US President Donald Trump speaks to a crowd gathered at Krasinski Square in Warsaw on Thursday
US President Donald Trump speaks to a crowd gathered at Krasinski Square in Warsaw on Thursday

US President Donald Trump delivered a speech in Warsaw today ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg, a meeting of the leaders of the world’s top economies. At Krasinski Square near a monument to the Warsaw Uprising, Trump touched on many of his common themes. Here are the main highlights:


Trump promised a commitment to trade with Poland, specifically in the energy sector.

Why it matters: Poland is eager to reduce its reliance on Russia, from whom it buys nearly half of its natural gas.

The US president praised “the triumph of the Polish spirit over centuries of hardship,” citing the occupation by Nazi Germany and the communist era.

Why it matters: Many political analysts believe Trump chose to visit Poland before the G20 because he is more likely to get a warm reception here compared to Western Europe. His positions on hot-button issues like immigration and the press resonate with Poland’s ruling right-wing PiS party, which bused in supporters from around the country to attend the speech.

Trump also had kind words for Pope John Paul II, crediting him with helping to end communism in Poland. He said, “The people of Poland, the people of America, and the people of Europe still cry out, ‘We want God.'”

Why it matters: 87.6% of Poles identify as Roman Catholic, and John Paul II is widely revered as a national hero. This is bound to score points with many in the audience.

He spoke against “radical Islamic terrorism,” calling the fight against it “defense of civilization itself” and using it to rationalize stricter border control.

Why it matters: Trump’s administration has instituted a ban on most visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen to the US, and the refugee resettlement program has been put on hiatus. Similarly, Poland has defied the European Union and mostly refused to take in Syrian refugees. Later in the speech Trump warned, “We can have the largest economies and the most lethal weapons anywhere on Earth, but if we do not have strong families and strong values, then we will be weak and we will not survive.”

Trump exhorted Russia to “cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine” as well its support for Iran and the Syrian government.

Why it matters: Multiple US intelligence agencies have stated that Vladimir Putin’s regime interfered in the 2016 US election in favor of Donald Trump, and there are several ongoing investigations into this as well as ties between Russian state actors and members of Trump’s inner political circle. Also, many in Poland still fear that the conflict in Ukraine could spill across the border, and they are deeply suspicious of Russian influence in the region.

He  warned against “the steady creep of government bureaucracy that drains the vitality and wealth of the people.”

Why it matters: This comment is likely to find sympathy among many in Poland frustrated with long queues at government offices. Moreover, though, Trump’s comments come at a time when US Senators from Trump’s Republican Party are striving to repeal the Affordable Care Act. “Obamacare” (as it is informally called) is viewed by some on the right as government overreach, and Republicans aim to replace it with a stripped-down version under which millions of Americans would lose their health insurance.

Trump reiterated his longtime demand that European NATO members pay more for their own defense.

Why it matters: Currently only five of the 28 members of NATO are meeting their goal to spend at least 2% of their GDP on defense. Poland is one of them, which Trump acknowledged. Some European leaders fear that Trump’s critical comments on the organization signal a weakening of US commitment to the transatlantic military alliance formed to oppose the Soviet Union during the Cold War.


The speech was interrupted several times by loud, supportive chants from audience members of “DONALD TRUMP!” The crowd was not free from opposition, though — others shouted accusations of racism, and a group of Polish women appeared in costumes inspired by Margaret Atwood’s 1985 feminist dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale to protest what they view as a long record of sexism by the president.

At an earlier press conference alongside Polish President Andrzej Duda, Trump had harsh words for North Korean missile tests and called major American news stations CNN and NBC “fake news.” (Trump’s position on The Krakow Post is currently unknown.)

Tomorrow the two-day G20 summit will begin, during which Trump is scheduled to have a highly-anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin – although what exactly the two leaders will discuss remains to be seen.

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28 thoughts on “Trump in Warsaw: What He Said (and Why It Matters)

  • July 6, 2017 at 9:16 pm
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    Trust me, Krakow Post, he is an equal opportunity press hater unless 21 Century Fox, Inc owns you.

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    • July 7, 2017 at 4:09 am
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      Your loco cerveza. STFU.

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  • July 6, 2017 at 10:06 pm
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    Often, trouble follows people saying words you want to hear. Such words often comes with a cost.

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  • July 7, 2017 at 1:43 am
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    What, no mention of Art. 5?

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  • July 7, 2017 at 1:47 am
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    Just so people in Poland know, everything Trump says is BS.

    He lost the popular vote in America, and he is only our president because of archaic electoral college rules. More than half our country hates him and hopes he gets impeached. Also the fact that he is so cozy with Putin should make you all nervous.

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    • July 7, 2017 at 3:44 pm
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      Sorry, pal, but you’re wrong. President Trump saved our nation from globalist anarchy and third world status. Our electoral college is designed to protect the nation from densely populated pockets of extremism (the coastal elites), and give voice to the little guy in fly-over country. You speak only for the loony left.

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      • July 10, 2017 at 4:20 pm
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        I thought only us, Poles are divided over who’s won the latest election but I can see that it’s not only our problem. I wonder why some people pay lip service to democracy but can’t accept the fact that it is about respecting the choice of the majority, as simple as that. Here in Poland the chattering classes and the well-off are also behaving as if someone had robbed them of their exclusive right to decide about who and how runs this country. Well said, Diana.

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        • July 11, 2017 at 12:49 am
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          Is democracy necessarily the best political system? We’ve been conditioned to think so, but the majority often makes totally uninformed decisions – Brexit, for example. There is something to be said for rule by the so-called “chattering class”, which at least knows something about politics and critical thinking. It remains to be seen whether President Trump will really represent “the little guy”. Let’s hope he does.

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          • July 11, 2017 at 4:27 pm
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            And the “chattering classes” are those people who are involved with politics on a daily basis, whether it’s through journalism or party politics or whatever. The problem with the little guy (or girl) is not so much that any of them are incapable of critical thinking, but that most people are simply too busy trying to make a living and so they leave politics to others. But these others don’t always do what’s best for ordinary voters for a variety of reasons and have even been known to deliberately misinform (can you believe it?). And this is where good journalism comes in, of course,

    • July 7, 2017 at 6:08 pm
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      Aww still butt hurt old Hilldabeast is not in the oval office, Hey bigot for 200+ years we have chosen a POTUS based off@gmail.com the electoral college, which in return stops urban dumps such as the one you live in from controlling are country. Check out the map on election night, 3,000>427 counties 31>20 states 327>224 electoral votes……. Its very to understand your policies where soundly rejected and Obama’s legacy is burning n the WH lawn. Real Americans LOVE TRUMP and stand behind him against traitors like you. You don’t like the POTUS then GTFO of America!

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    • July 12, 2017 at 6:24 pm
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      He did get a cozy reception in Poland thanks to the PiS supporters bused in. I doubt any Warsowian bothered to come

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  • July 7, 2017 at 2:12 am
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    This seems like a fact-based report on what was said, with unbiased different points of view presented. I wish we had press like this.

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  • July 7, 2017 at 2:23 am
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    Please Polish people, do all American a favor. Keep there there. You guys can have him.

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    • July 7, 2017 at 6:09 pm
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      YOU LOST and Hillda is not coming back, GROW UP CHILD and MOVE ON with your sad lonely life.

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  • July 7, 2017 at 2:33 am
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    If the Poles can listen and believe the fabricated, hypocritical slogans of this abject creature, they really don’t understand what reality is.

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  • July 7, 2017 at 3:01 am
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    This is not true; that millions of Americans will lose their health insurance; in fact ObamaCare put a few millions on the books at the expense of tens of millions of mostly hard working midden class families, that is why Mr. Trump won the election. Continuously spinning these negative images only reinforces the will of his supporters, and daily swings more and more open-minded moderates to his side. Therefore I do not condemn this article rather I encourage more like it – fake news is easy to spot and speak about here in the US. Perhaps in Krakow there are sentiments generally not in line with the, shall we say, more of the country folk? Either way I intend to discover for myself and visit Poland in February of 18. Perhaps I shall bring some Trump campaign souvenirs to hand out….good night from Pennsylvania, USA

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    • July 7, 2017 at 2:22 pm
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      Thanks for your comment, Mr. Carpenter. Skepticism is good. Here is an article from Fox News on a report on the Senate healthcare bill by the Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan federal agency which is considered by economists from the right and left to be independent and usually pretty accurate. The CBO’s report, along with the Republican-controlled Joint Committee on Taxation, estimates that around 22 million Americans would be uninsured by 2026 if the Senate bill is enacted.

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      • July 7, 2017 at 3:34 pm
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        You do not lose your health care when you are forced to have it or face $ penalties for not taking it. 22 million people will now have the freedom to make their own decisions with THEIR money. The U.S.’s highest court ruled ObamaCare a tax !

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  • July 7, 2017 at 3:56 am
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    The one thing about President Trump is he’s loyal, and he supports his friends, after his election he traveld the US on a “Thank You Tour” to show his appreciation to the people that had elected him ..no one has done that before, the US Media called it a ‘Victory Tour’ even after Trump had stated he wanted to Thank the voters and announced his thank you tour.

    The media has continuously twisted his words and depicted him as a horrible person, but to the people that actually heard him speak, you can compare his word to the media’s version for yourself ..rest assured he will keep his word and disregard what the US media claims, they are part of the left wing party and their objective is to disrupt the Trump Administration every chance they get.

    The very warm reception President Trump has received from Poland and it’s people will certainly move them to the top of Trump’s list ..watch and see.

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  • July 7, 2017 at 4:37 am
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    I do not want words i want action. The republican part has both houses of congress. Trump is president a republican. For the republican party to blame it on the democrats for none action. This is a lie at best.

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  • July 7, 2017 at 5:11 am
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    Not a politician: He was elected to do what he said he would do, and he is doing it. Democracy and free speech also does not limit criticizing the main stream press from a very, very obvious belief they have “we are off limits to criticism” and pointing out their fake news.. An example the main stream (US) press reported this evening that President Duda’s wife did not shake hands with President trump..FAKE NEWS!! They cut the video seconds before she shook his hand. First Lady Duda shook hands first with First Lady Trump, then with President Trump. Just as protocol is followed.
    Lastly it seems that Eastern European countries that had suffered under post WWll oppression have much higher values for Christianity , democracy, and nationalism than the western European countries that now have a terrorist cancer in their body.
    God Bless Poland and God Bless America

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  • July 7, 2017 at 6:51 am
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    Our former president abandoned you. I don’t believe this man will.

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  • July 7, 2017 at 7:03 am
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    Often, denial follows people not believing the words they hear. Such denial often comes with a cost: reality.

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  • July 7, 2017 at 10:08 pm
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    Steve Hoffmann what good is health insurance is it doesn’t cover anything? I spend 1700 USD/ month, and then have a 10,000 USD deductible before benefits kick in. That this is “coverage” is fake news! Good on Poland, glad to see the Obama policy on defensive missiles is reversed (like most of Obama’s crap legacy).

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  • July 8, 2017 at 5:31 am
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    …and a group of Polish women appeared in costumes inspired by Margaret Atwood’s 1985 feminist dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale to protest what they view as a long record of sexism by the president.

    Perhaps they can invite Bill Clinton to give a speech. I’m sure he’d have no problem meeting with those women and sharing cigars with them.

    Reply
  • July 9, 2017 at 10:14 pm
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    wow – a non-ideological, to the point article in the Krakow Post. I am… speechless (and cautiously optimistic).

    Reply

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