Trump says he is ‘stable genius’ after securing extra North Atlantic Treaty Organisation funding

Blanche Robertson
July 13, 2018

Most other nations barely scratch out numbers much above one percent.

At the press conference on Thursday, a Croatian reporter dared ask if Trump would change his mind once he leaves Brussels for London. As a result, he continued, "NATO is much stronger than it was two days ago". But he added "that isn't almost enough".

Trump famously leaned on defense firms publicly to try to lower prices for the government - and the firms in turn became huge winners in his budget proposals.

They say they will do more to encourage their businesses to remain engaged with Iran, though a number of firms have already said they plan to pull out as they also face sanctions following Trump's decision.

French President Emmanuel Macron quickly disputed Trump's claim that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies had agreed to boost defense spending beyond their existing goal of 2 percent of gross domestic product by 2024.

Trump leaves Brussels on Thursday for some extra time with one key member of the alliance: British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Even in Trump's own administration, no one was echoing the same kind of harsh rhetoric the president used. "We're reflecting that in a resolution that we're bringing to the floor today", said House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., on Wednesday.

Merkel told reporters there followed a discussion with assurances to Trump that spending was increasing - something he later acknowledged was happening at an unprecedented rate.

Trump claimed member nations had agreed to boost their defense budgets significantly and reaffirmed - after days of griping that the US was being taken advantage of by its allies - that the USA remains faithful to the accord. People are paying money that they never paid before. "I made clear that we are on this path".

The Associated Press reported from the summit that French President Emmanuel Macron denied Trump's claim of any joint promise to increase alliance contributions.

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Macron and others said they did not interpret Trump's words as a direct threat to quit the alliance Washington founded in 1949 to contain Soviet expansion.

But Major questions whether the arguments being made by the president are really only about spending.

A third European diplomat said Trump may be targeting Germany and its chancellor in an attempt to win points at home with his base and to deflect attention from his own fawning treatment of Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of their summit in Helsinki on July 16.

The President's remarks sent officials scrambling for answers, triggered ripples of dismay among defense officials and alarmed members of Trump's own party enough that one anxious aloud the President is trying to "tear down" the 29-member alliance. And on Thursday, he again declined to say Putin - despite the US intelligence community's unanimous conclusion Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 presidential race - is an enemy. Is he a friend? I've been nice to him.

"I hope we get along well".

"Allies are spending more thanks to the President", the diplomat said. Demonstrators say that hundreds of thousands of people are planning to take to the streets tonight and tomorrow, and are planning to float a giant balloon caricature of Trump outside Parliament.

Credit for those added billions is being claimed fully by the USA president. "They're feeling a lot of pain right now". "We have a ways to go, but the good news is that we have started". "And we'll make a deal".

Amid the tumult, British Prime Minister Theresa May sounded a call for solidarity among the allies, saying, "As we engage Russian Federation we must do so from a position of unity and strength - holding out hope for a better future, but also clear and unwavering on where Russian Federation needs to change its behaviour for this to become a reality". But I said, ultimately we should be - in years in advance, we should be at 4 percent.

Only that Reagan did - both in 1980 and 1984. Trump tweeted an hour before the second day of the summit got under way.

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