Fact check: Trump's half-truths and false statements at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

13 July, 2018, 19:44 | Author: Wade Massey

Following US President Donald Trump's call for member states to raise defence spending to four per cent of GDP, Radev said that he had asked Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg what would happen to the Transatlantic relationship "which is the backbone of NATO's military capability, if we are not reaching two per cent (of GDP) now, and no one is talking about four per cent".

Earlier Thursday, Trump called out US allies on Twitter, saying, "Presidents have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get Germany and other rich NATO Nations to pay more toward their protection from Russian Federation".

Stoltenberg acknowledged that Trump had expressed himself in "very direct language" but insisted that away from the fiery rhetoric the allies all agree on fundamental issues: the need to boost NATO's resilience, fight terror and share the cost of defence more equally. "I don't think you'll have any, 'Gee, I did it, I did it, you got me.' There won't be a Perry Mason here I don't think", Trump said.

Donald Trump shrouded Brussels in his personal fog of war as he brought confusion and half-truths to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, before claiming an imaginary victory over America's allies in a conflict of his own making.

"Someone said, 'Is he an enemy?' No, he is not my enemy".

At the end of the first day, Trump unsettled allies even more by questioning the value of the military alliance, which was formed to counter Soviet aggression during the Cold War.

Mr Trump stated his commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, speaking after reports that he had warned leaders that the United States could pull out of the alliance if other members failed to increase their contributions.

European Union affairs ministers will round off the week with a debate on Britain's Brexit position paper on Thursday and Friday after British prime minister Theresa May eventually published it.

At Thursday's press conference, he repeated an incorrect claim that the USA "pays for 70 to 90% of NATO".

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But not before Merkel and other top officials in the German government had publicly fired back at Trump's breakfast diatribe. Rather than projecting unity ahead of the Trump-Putin meeting, the gathering generated nonstop images of division.


Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, countered Thursday, saying "natural gas pipelines lead not to a dependence of one country from another, but to mutual interdependence".

While denying Putin's role, Trump has blamed President Barack Obama for not doing enough to stop it. "We have been extremely tough on Russian Federation", he said at a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

"I'm sorry, they're for White House staff", they were told as they tried to grab vacant seats at the front.

The 2 percent target also doesn't reflect numerous members' other contributions to the alliance, such as which nations are more willing to deploy troops and which ones pay for training and force-building in failing states.

Trump has described the spending situation as "disproportionate and not fair to the taxpayers of the United States".

Instead, a series of events - a black-tie dinner with business leaders, a meeting with May and an audience with Queen Elizabeth - will happen outside the bustling city, where Mayor Sadiq Khan has been in a verbal battle with Trump.

Trump heads next to the United Kingdom.

Hours later, he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met privately and discussed the pipeline, each reaffirming the partnership between the USA and Germany.

He also said meeting the queen would be an experience Trump "will really cherish". "I'm very consistent", he replied.

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