National security officials unaware of Trump's decision to cut troops in Germany: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 MORE's decision to cut nearly 10,000 troops stationed in Germany caught top officials at the Department of Defense, National Security Council and State Department unaware, according to Reuters.

The news service noted Tuesday that the decision to reduce its troop count in Germany, a top NATO ally, was not shared with some officials at the Pentagon and was reported by The Wall Street Journal before a formal order was sent alerting top brass to the change.

Two sources added that German officials were not consulted by the administration. One source noted, however, that Trump's decision came following months of pressure from the administration for Germany to increase its defense spending to 2 percent of gross domestic product, the target for all NATO allies.


“In that sense, it wasn’t a surprise, but there was no consultation or coordination. And Trump administration officials had said they did not expect a withdrawal of forces,” the official told Reuters.

Other senior officials at both the Pentagon and State Department “learned something was up when calls started coming around and the [Journal] article hit,” another source told Reuters.

Some officials reportedly pointed to the influence of former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard GrenellRichard GrenellTrump taps retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor as next ambassador to Germany Kosovo president, indicted for war crimes, cancels trip to US Poland in the middle: Its push for US troops may alienate Germany and Russia MORE, who is also the former acting director of national intelligence, as a reason for the president's sudden decision. The National Security Council did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill, and the Pentagon and State Department referred requests for comment to the NSC.

Grenell told Reuters that the claims that officials were not notified was "gossip," adding that Trump's decision had been “in the works since last year.”