Trump Fails to Force Allies to Immediately Boost Defense Spending

Trump ready to help some NATO states buy U.S. arms

Trump Fails to Force Allies to Immediately Boost Defense Spending

We'll have more on President Trump, NATO, Russia and the protests in the United Kingdom after headlines.

TRUMP, at the subsequent news conference with May: "I don't know what they're going to do, but whatever you do is OK with me".

Trump brushed off the protests, saying, "I think they like me a lot in the United Kingdom".

Trump launched his blunt attack against Germany on the very first day of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit that took place in Belgium on Wednesday and Thursday, saying it was wrong to back importing more Russian gas and not meeting the Nato's target for defence spending.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who called the summit "very intense", and other leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron, played down the extent to which they had pledged to accelerate spending plans as fast as Trump wanted.

"Secretary General Stoltenberg gives us total credit - meaning me, I guess, in this case".

During a working breakfast that marked the start of the summit, Trump claimed Germany is "controlled" by Russian Federation due to an energy partnership between the two countries.

The emergency session came amid reports that Trump had threatened to leave the alliance if allies didn't immediately up their spending, but officials said no explicit threat was made. "Are we contributing the kinds of resources and demonstrating the kind of commitment to the alliance that always needs to be there?"'

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White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later said Trump's "no" meant that he didn't want to take questions. Some of those have been forced on them by Congress, but others are things the administration has done on its own.

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"(The) 2 per cent (figure) was a range, a goal, now it's a commitment, it was like this amorphous number out there and now it's a real commitment", he said.

But he reiterated his demand that US allies spend more on defense.

As well as Merkel, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Charles Michel, the prime minister of Belgium, were singled out by Trump for undershooting on their spending targets when US taxpayers, funding a defense budget worth about 3.6 percent of their national income, foot much of NATO's bills.

In early morning tweets from Brussels, Trump resumed the criticism of his allies. "Not acceptable! All Nato Nations must meet their 2% commitment, and that must ultimately go to 4%!"

"Commitments were made. Only five of 29 countries were making their commitment and that's now changed", Trump said at a press conference before leaving Brussels.

During Trump's meeting with Putin, McCain said, the president "must reverse his disturbing tendency to show America's adversaries the deference & esteem that should be reserved for our allies". "What will happen with Crimea from this point on, I can't tell you".

Germany, one of America's closest allies, is doubling its energy imports from Russia's Gazprom just as the US continues to spend billions of dollars to protect Germany and the rest of Europe from Russian Federation.

"He's been very nice to me the times I've met him".

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