Trump rails against Germany, demands allies double North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spending


Trump had spent his time in Brussels berating members of the military alliance for failing to spend enough of their money on defense, accusing Europe of freeloading off the USA and raising doubts about whether he would come to members' defense if they were attacked. As to whether he could unilaterally pull the US out of the alliance without congressional approval, Trump said, "I think I probably can, but that's not necessary".

French President Emmanuel Macron, along with other leaders and officials, denied to reporters that the US president had threatened to quit the defense organization, saying, "President Trump never at any moment, either in public or private, threatened to withdraw from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation".

Trump added: "I'd like to see them work it out quickly". The more than 20 allies not spending 2 per cent of GDP on their national military budgets pledged at the time to start investing more as their economies grew, and to move toward that goal by 2024. He then stunned allies by telling them to eventually double the figure to a punishing four per cent.

"The communique is clear: it reaffirms the commitment to two per cent (of GDP)", said Macron, who was photographed smiling and sharing a hug with Trump yesterday despite recent tensions between the two.

In response, the Twitter account of Russia's foreign ministry said they would be turning their attention to the World Cup instead of NATO's allegations.

In 2017, the United States spent 3.1 percent of its GDP on defense, while Estonia, Greece, Poland and the United Kingdom stand as the only countries which have crossed the two percent threshold.

He said that Germany was a "rich country" and demanded Ms Merkel must increase military defence spending "immediately", insisting that the country could "do it immediately tomorrow without any problems".

"President Trump never at any moment, either in public or in private, threatened to withdraw from NATO", Macron said.

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According to German press agency DPA, Trump said that unless the Allies immediately increase their defence budgets to the 2% of GDP target, the U.S. will "do its own thing".

Sen. John McCain issued a stern warning Thursday to President Trump in advance of his summit with Vladimir Putin, saying that it would be "a serious indictment" of Trump's leadership if he does not hold the Russian leader accountable on a range of actions.

"Germany has agreed to do a lot better than they were doing, and we're very happy with that", Trump said, without going into specifics.

"On top of it all, Germany just started paying Russian Federation, the country they want protection from, Billions of Dollars for their Energy needs coming out of a new pipeline from Russian Federation". But Trump's Thursday morning tweet, before meetings on Russian aggression and the war in Afghanistan, said allies "must" get to 4 percent.

When asked if he was anxious that the Putin-Trump meeting could have negative consequences for Poland, Duda said he expected Trump to continue the USA stance of supporting Poland. 'Is he your friend?' No, I don't know him very much. And it comes just days before Trump sits down with Putin at the conclusion of his closely watched European trip.

And Trump said that's all his doing. He suggested an accelerated timeline, saying nations would be "spending at a much faster clip".

At the contentious two-day summit that wrapped up Thursday, Trump intensified accusations that other nations in the 29-member alliance were not paying their fair share on defense.