President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel plans to subpoena Trump lawyer who advised on how to overturn election Texans chairman apologizes for 'China virus' remark Biden invokes Trump in bid to boost McAuliffe ahead of Election Day 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 GrenellBiden names nominee for US ambassador to Germany Grenell still interested in California recall bid Cleveland businessman jumps into Ohio Senate race: Trump 'victories' need to be protected 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.”