Trump dubs himself 'stable genius' for getting North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to pay up

13 July, 2018, 02:21 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Trump says the US commitment to NATO

In February, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said only about half of the alliance's 29 members are on track to meet the 2024 deadline - which he said would boost spending by $46 billion.

Mr. Trump has spent weeks berating members of the alliance for failing to spend enough of their money on defense, accusing Europe of freeloading off the US and raising doubts about whether he would come to members' defense if they were ever attacked.

In 2017, the alliance saw its biggest increase in defense spending "in a generation", he said, signaling to his aggrieved ally in the White House that "we see that all Allies have started to increase defense spending based on the national plans we have agreed to develop a year ago".

"Much stronger than it was two days ago", Trump said in an unscheduled statement.

Then, in a head-snapping pivot at the end, he declared the alliance a "fine-tuned machine" that had acceded to his demands to speed up increases in military spending to relieve pressure on the USA budget.

The source refused to comment on reports that Trump had threatened to pull out of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation altogether. "They're going to up it at levels that they've never thought of before", Trump said.

The U.S. President was also asked if he would be prepared to recognise Crimea as part of Russian Federation after it was annexed from Ukraine by Moscow in 2014.

"The American president demanded what has been discussed for months, that there is a change in the burden-sharing".

"Everybody in the room thanked me", he said, "There's a great collegial spirit in that room that I don't think they've had in many years".

Trump is scheduled to meet with Putin next week in Helsinki in what Trump characterized Thursday as a "loose meeting", adding that "we'll see where it leads".

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He added: "I've been reading a lot about Brexit over the last couple of days and it seems to be turning a little bit differently, where they're getting at least partially involved back with the European Union".

Asked what was his fallback position if Germany and Canada do not go up to 2%, he said: "They will, they will, I have no doubt about it".

President Trump will now head to the United Kingdom, where mass protests are expected to greet him as he arrives for his first visit to the country as president this afternoon.

"That is all", Macron said.

With allies fearing he could strike some sort of deal with Nato's key adversary, Trump said that he saw Putin as a "competitor" but not an "enemy".

Sen. John McCain issued a stern warning Thursday to President Trump in advance of his summit with Vladimir Putin, saying that it would be "a serious indictment" of Trump's leadership if he does not hold the Russian leader accountable on a range of actions.

Trump has several times assailed Germany for not spending a large enough proportion of its gross domestic product on defence.

"He was in a good mood, he said Europe was a continent he appreciated", Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel told reporters.

Asked about his criticism on Germany, and specifically regarding the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russian Federation, he said that Berlin had increased very substantially its commitments, that he had a very good relationship with Chancellor Angela Merkel, and hinted that the gas pipeline shouldn't be an issue if relations with Russian Federation improve.

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