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Trump Walks Back NATO Threats, Takes 'Total Credit' For Spending Boost

12 Juillet 2018

At a news conference wrapping up the two-day North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels, Trudeau was pressed to provide more details about the USA president's sudden insistence that allies have agreed to spend more - and to do it more quickly.

Trump, in a series of tweets from Brussels, said that, "Presidents have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get Germany and other rich NATO Nations to pay more toward their protection from Russian Federation". He said he would "probably" be able to have the U.S. leave the mutual defense organization with no Congress approval, but insisted that after his perceived diplomatic success the Alliance would be "a very, very powerful, very, very strong" organization that America would be perfectly fine to stay in. But I will tell you this: at a certain point they're going to call me they're going to say "Let's make a deal". "It's been incredible to see the level of spirit in that room".

Trump had taken an aggressive tone during the summit, questioning the value of an alliance that has defined decades of American foreign policy, torching an ally and proposing a massive increase in European defence spending.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg refused repeated efforts to pin him down on a specific new deal following Trump's claim.

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". Trump says Germany is "totally controlled" by Russian Federation.

As for what he and Putin will discuss, Trump said Syria will be a main topic - as will Russia's attempts to interfere in the 2016 election that put Trump in the White House. Trump tweeted on Thursday morning before the second day of talks.

And while all member nations have agreed, in principle, to work toward the 2 percent spending goal, each country is ultimately beholden to unique political processes and must consult with their respective parliaments to secure increased military spending.

He said he viewed Putin as a "competitor, ' but not as a 'friend" or an 'enemy'.

Credit for those added billions is being claimed fully by the USA president.

He continued: "Nato is much stronger than it was two days ago".

"President Trump wants to see our allies share more of the burden and at a very minimum meet their already stated obligations,"said Sanders".

In 2017, the United States spent 3.1 percent of its GDP on defense, while Estonia, Greece, Poland and the United Kingdom stand as the only countries which have crossed the two percent threshold.

"So we have a commitment to spend two percent". 'But maybe we'll get along with the people we're protecting against.

President Donald Trump's displeasure with the U.S.'s military allies over their relatively low defense spending is no secret.

Canada was never expected to agree to Trump's spending demands. Trump and Merkel later held businesslike talks on the sidelines of the summit.

Trump Walks Back NATO Threats, Takes 'Total Credit' For Spending Boost