U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Pentagon amid European questions on the U.S. commitment to the transatlantic alliance. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Pentagon on Tuesday (March 21) amid news that U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to skip a meeting with NATO foreign ministers next month in order to stay home for a visit by China's president and will go to Russia later in April. "We have a very strong transatlantic bond and its getting stronger, " Mattis said."Relationships don't stay the same, they're always changing and in this case, the bond is getting stronger." Tillerson's decision to miss his first meeting with NATO foreign ministers has unsettled European allies who fear the no-show reopens questions about President Donald Trump's commitment to the alliance. Stoltenberg is in Washington for a three-day visit with administration officials and to take part in the counter-Islamic State meetings. During a photo opportunity, Mattis and Stoltenberg stressed the importance of the U.S.-NATO alliance and the strong bond it shares.