Trump bashes North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members: Who pays what?

11 July, 2018, 01:56 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison appears on

Similarly, earlier on Tuesday the president tweeted, "Getting ready to leave for Europe".

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday acknowledged that his upcoming visit with British Prime Minister Theresa May comes during a time of "turmoil" in her country and said it was up to the British people to decide whether May remains in power.

Speaking as he prepared to depart for a European trip in which he will meet May at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels and then make his first visit to the United Kingdom as president, Trump insisted he got along with May "very well".

Trump left that meeting without signing the joint statement from the seven nations and antagonizing important US allies, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Today Europeans spend on defence many times more than Russian Federation, and as much as China.

The President also called former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson - who resigned Monday - "my friend" - just days before he is due to meet with Mrs May during his first visit to the United Kingdom as president. He also questioned the NATO's most important feature: that an attack on one member should be considered an attack on all members.

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"This administration seems to treat our allies as adversaries, and treat our adversaries, or potential adversaries, like their friends", Warner said to CNN on Monday.

Speaking with a gaggle of reporters as he left the White House on Tuesday, Trump was asked if he considered Putin a friend or foe. "I've said that many times for many years".

Trudeau, who was called "weak" by Trump after the G7 meeting, pledged to boost Canadian troop numbers 540, from around 450 now.

"I said, 'You know, Angela, I can't guarantee it, but we're protecting you, '" Trump said, referring to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at a Montana rally on July 5.

He vowed not to be "taken advantage" of by the European Union, which he accuses of freeloading by relying on the United States for its defence while blocking USA imports into the bloc, the world's biggest market.

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European Union officials say Trump appears uninterested in solutions, however.

The hint of USA withdrawal from Europe, while unlikely, indeed seems to have made many countries hike their defense spending.

The European Union is the top export market for the United States at $501 billion (£377.5 billion) in goods and services in 2016, the latest available figures provided by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

"This is why as part of our new budgetary proposals we, the Commission, have proposed to increase defense spending by 22 times, bringing total defense spending to Euro 27.5 billion [$32.2 billion] from 2021 to 2027", Juncker said. "Charge us big Tariffs (& Barriers)!"

The meeting will be closely watched to see whether Trump will rebuke or embrace Putin, who has repeatedly denied the allegations of election meddling, in spite of evidence to the contrary.

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