Trump Slams NATO Spending on Eve of Departure for Summit

U.S. President Donald Trump jokes with British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson as British Prime Minister Theresa May walks past during a working dinner meeting at the NATO headquarters during a NATO summit of heads of stat

NATO Fears Trump May Threaten to Pull Troops From Europe If They Don't Increase Spending

That came after pointed criticism from European Commission President Donald Tusk.

"Dear @realDonaldTrump. US doesn't have and won't have a better ally than EU".

United States ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison told reporters that Trump would also recommit to one of the founding articles of NATO - Article 5 - which holds that an attack on one member is an attack on them all. And it could help promote acceptance of Trump's accurate assertion that the United States and the West must deal with reemergent Russia-despite the prevailing narrative that Trump is Putin's lapdog, which the mainstream media use to try driving Trump from office.

Before he left Andrews Air Force Base, President Trump reiterated his demand for the USA to pay less and other members of the Western military alliance to pay more, and he linked the issue to the EU's trade surplus with the US.

The president also took aim at the European Union, saying the U.S.is "being taken advantage of" by the economic bloc. The principal budget categories include the civil budget, the military budget and the NATO Security Investment Programme (NSIP).

In the run-up to his trip, the president did little to ease European concerns by delivering fresh broadsides against NATO, an intergovernmental military alliance of 29 North American and European countries aimed at countering possible Russian aggression. And the ceiling for the NSIP is €700 million (or about $822 million).

"I want to dispel the American president's argument which says that the US alone protects Europe against our enemies, and that the U.S.is nearly alone in this struggle", he said. US officials said the two sides this time would be discussing Russian election meddling, Russia's incursions in the Ukraine and involvement in Syria. "On top of this the European Union has a Trade Surplus of US$151 Million with the USA, with big Trade Barriers on USA goods. NO!"

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Speaking before he departed Washington D.C. Tuesday, President responded to Tusk's taunt, remarking: "Well, we do have a lot of allies".

Either way, that still isn't how much the U.S. Most NATO member states have not yet reached this goal, but a number of member states are expected to break the threshold in 2019.

"It really is just Trump". In 2014, they agreed again to aim to meet that standard by 2024.

Trump is pushing for other countries to spend more on their own defense, while taking credit for some increases that have already occurred.

"The U.S.is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them".

Allies are braced for a barrage of invective from Trump for not spending enough on defense, and are apprehensive that his often skeptical tone on the alliance that has underpinned European security for 70 years might turn into outright hostility.

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