Donald Trump: 'Nato is much stronger than it was two days ago'

Leroy Wright
July 13, 2018

Merkel said it was "completely impossible" to meet the commitments by January in the crisis session that Trump himself later publicly described as "tough for a while".

"Instead of worrying what other countries are spending on their militaries, the president should worry about the ways his own military wastes funds that could be used to solve problems at home".

Trump tweeted on Thursday morning before the second day of talks.

"Now we're very happy and have a very, very powerful, very, very strong North Atlantic Treaty Organisation - much stronger than it was two days ago", Trump declared after what he described as a "fantastic meeting".

Trump said he let countries know during this week's summit that he was "extremely unhappy". "I'm a very stable genius", Trump said. And "they have pledged to spend more". They're happy to do it.

"Look, we can be competitors", Mr. Gardner added.

Trump heads next to the United Kingdom.

"The clear message from President Trump is having an impact", he said.

"Everyone's agreed to substantially up their commitments, they've agreed to up it to levels that they have never thought of before". "I'm very strong on immigration".

Trump did not specify which countries had committed to what, and it remained unclear whether any had changed their plans. That would mark a significant milestone for the alliance. The target date to get military spending to 2% is 2024.

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Moreover, NATO estimates collective defense spending among all member states will total more that $936 billion in 2018. "Not acceptable! All NATO Nations must meet their 2% commitment, and that must ultimately go to 4%!"

Others in the room, including the Lithuanian president whose country is among the most nervous of Russian ambitions, denied a suggestion that Trump had threatened to quit the alliance.

There is no penalty for not reaching the 2% goal; it's simply a guideline, and most member states have increased defense spending even if they haven't reached that goal quite yet. Officials said no explicit threat was made. He also said the other leaders had thanked him for raising the issue of how to support NATO's operations.

The summit came as transatlantic ties are already under strain due to U.S. trade tariffs, along with fears that Trump's summit on Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin will pull him further from Nato's orbit.

Like Joe Scarborough on MSNBC this morning, he also compared European defense spending to the objects of Trump's enamor, China and Russian Federation.

German Chancellor Merkel hit back immediately, not only denying Trump's contention but suggesting that his comfortable upbringing in the USA gave him no standing to spout off on the world stage about Germany. "And then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russian Federation where they're paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russian Federation", he said. The US is paying for Europe's protection, then loses billions on Trade.

Leaders of Azerbaijan and Georgia, non-NATO members, were asked to leave for the emergency session.

The phrase echoed a tweet from January, when Trump dismissed claims about his mental and physical health contained in a sensationalist tell-all book that now seems mostly forgotten.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the summit atmosphere was "much calmer than everyone had said" and he saw a will to maintain the unity of the alliance, while Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said Trump was "constructive".

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