Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

Trump falsely claims credit on NATO spending

Trump falsely claims credit on NATO spending

It's not clear what the concrete result was of that meeting.

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

As he flew off to the United Kingdom on Thursday for the next leg of his European tour, it was left to President Emmanuel Macron of France to correct the record following Trump's freewheeling press conference in which he claimed to have pushed allies into new defence spending commitments.

In the closed-door session, Trump told his counterparts that if they did not meet their defense spending targets of 2 percent of gross domestic product by January, the United States would go it alone, according to two officials briefed on the meeting.

Trump said there had been "tremendous progress" after his "firm" warnings during the tense two-day meeting in Brussels, during which he singled out Germany for special criticism.

"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. Donald Trump and the whole world leader gang got together to reaffirm their commitment to worldwide defense and cooperation this week and it did not go at all as planned. Russian Federation has since been supporting them financially and militarily.

Invited leaders from non-NATO countries Afghanistan and Georgia were asked to leave along with most North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders' retinues of officials, as the heads of state and government of the Western alliance sought to deal with the man whose nation commands much of the budget and forces for Europe's defence.

In what sounded like a Johnson endorsement, Mr. Trump went on to say, "Boris Johnson is a friend of mine".

Trump adds that he was "extremely unhappy with what was happening and they have substantially upped their commitment".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives in Brussels, Belgium on Tuesday, July 10, 2018, to attend the NATO Summit. Thank you both for your reporting this morning.

In 2011, when the U.S. was still heavily involved in Afghanistan and Iraq, defence spending was at 4.78% of GDP.

Ahead of Trump's arrival, May sought to play up the prospect of a post-Brexit trade deal with the USA, one of her key political objectives.

"I am very glad that we are united today in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany and that we can therefore also make our own independent policies and make our own independent decisions".

The 4 per cent demand was met with "total stunned silence and then utter panic", the Times reported.

At present, the Liberal government's spending projections show Canada reaching only 1.4 per cent of GDP by 2024.

Some NATO allies had not exactly heard the same conclusions as Trump around the table, and French President Emmanuel Macron immediately poured cold water on Trump's spending ambitions for other allies.

Trump said he wanted "peace all over the world, that's my goal", and he wanted to achieve this by building up the military, with his dream to have the best military equipment in the world and never have to use it.

"I would have done it much differently", Trump told The Sun newspaper in an explosive interview just hours before rubbing elbows with the British leader at a lavish black-tie dinner at Blenheim Castle in Oxfordshire.

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