Trump says committed to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as allies agree to boost defense spending

Blanche Robertson
July 14, 2018

He also vowed to raise allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election, amid an ongoing United States investigation into whether his campaign colluded with Moscow. "They like me a lot in the U.K". (Trump has not held a news conference in the USA in over a year). "That is why we have agreed today to strengthen EU-NATO ties in crucially important areas". It was born 70 years ago. Its vocation, features, organizational structure and operative strategy have changed.

"I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome, no reason for me to go to London", he told The Sun, which is owned by his media ally Rupert Murdoch, who also owns Fox News in the United States. "He seems to look at this as we do everything for them, and we provide them with benefits, and they just take advantage of us".

At the summit, Romania agreed to increase the number of troops in Afghanistan from 700 to 950, something Parliament needs to approve.

GREENE: Well, you have the French president, Emmanuel Macron, meanwhile saying that no new commitments have been made - I mean, stressing that the allies had already agreed to pay 2 percent of their GDP by the year 2024.

When asked how that conversation might go, Trump said, "He may deny it". And there was definitely a feeling that the foundations of this kind of vast edifice, this thing that people believe in more than ever, were a bit wobbly.

He said that President Trump's approach had lent a new sense of urgency to things.

Mr Trump has long complained that European countries do not spend enough on their own defence, leaving the USA to shoulder an unfair burden for protecting the continent.

"Without doubt these days, modern law gives more importance to the background noise than the music that was played", Macron said as the summit wound down.

He added: "It confirms the goal of 2 per cent by 2024".

The most powerful Democrat on Capitol Hill said Friday that President Trump should call off his summit next week with Russian leader Vladimir Putin after prosecutors indicted Russian military operatives for hacking the 2016 election.

Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein to make ‘law enforcement announcement’
President Donald Trump's United Kingdom visit, and just hours after he once again called the investigation a "witch hunt". The deputy attorney general said the defendants worked for two units of the Russian intelligence service, the GRU.

In a press conference in Brussels on Thursday, Trump said North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members would increase their contribution at a "much faster clip" than scheduled.

So NATO has been increasing its defense budgets over a period of years.

Republicans, too, are insisting Putin is no friend of the U.S.

As he flew off to the United Kingdom on Thursday for the next leg of his European tour, it was left to President Emmanuel Macron of France to correct the record following Trump's freewheeling press conference in which he claimed to have pushed allies into new defence spending commitments.

Trump says at a news conference Thursday in Brussels that he told "people" that he would be "very unhappy" if they didn't increase their commitments. Everyone's agreed to substantially up their commitment.

Still, Trump has been more conciliatory behind the scenes, including at a leaders' dinner Wednesday.

GREENE: I just want to start with you, Mara.

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

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". On Thursday, Trump said he wasn't troubled by the planned protests. He said the 29-nation alliance supports the territorial integrity of Georgia, including its sovereignty over the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

And he praised himself for getting them all to sign up to bigger defence budgets and sharing the financial burden more equally.

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