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Trump lashes out at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders over defense spending

12 July 2018

As of 2014, NATO's collective agreement instructed member countries to spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense by 2024.

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"I am very happy that today we are united in freedom, the Federal Republic of Germany", Merkel added.

The president appeared to be referring to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would bring gas from Russian Federation to Germany's northeastern Baltic coast, bypassing Eastern European nations like Poland and Ukraine and doubling the amount of gas Russian Federation can send directly to Germany. But here's the rub: Many of those free rider countries are on track to up their spending to the required 2%, and oh by the way, the USA doesn't even spend 4%. "But other presidents never did anything about it because I don't think they understood it or they just didn't want to get involved".

Trump has long complained that European NATO members do not pay enough for their own defence, accusing them of freeloading on America and singling out Germany for particular criticism.

And with that, he went on to push allies at the summit to double their commitment on defence spending.

But Trump's claim that the U.S.is spending 4.2 percent of GDP is at odds with the Pentagon, which puts it at 3.3 percent.

Sen. Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, also criticized Trump's rhetoric.

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Trump's decision to meet Putin was widely regarded as a blow to the prime minister's attempts to isolate Russian Federation following the Salisbury attack in March, even though he had strongly condemned the Kremlin's actions at the time. "That's not necessarily true for most of the European members of the alliance".

"I think these countries have to step it up, not over a 10 year period, they have to step it up immediately". Germans wouldn't agree with that. But at the bilateral meeting he exulted: "We have a very, very good relationship with the Chancellor".

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg noted Wednesday that member countries have already been increasing their defense spending.

"Germany is totally controlled by Russian Federation because they'll be getting 60 to 70% of their energy from Russian Federation and a new pipeline", Trump told Stoltenberg. Trump tweeted after his meeting with Merkel. President Trump, who spoke, raised the question not just to reach 2%, today, but set a new target - 4%.

"We're having a great meeting", Mr. Trump told reporters. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who said last week that they were wanting to project unity, reports NBC News.

"We are partners, we are good partners, and we will continue to cooperate in the future", she said.

French President Emmanuel Macron also publicly disagreed with Trump's comment.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and US President Donald Trump (C) make a statement to the press, in Brussels, on July 11, 2018.

Trump lashes out at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders over defense spending