European Union official criticizes Trump over attitude toward allies

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European Council President Donald Tusk addressed Trump's criticism, telling the U.S. President to "appreciate your allies, after all you don't have that many", at an E.U.

In a new assessment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spending and burden-sharing issues, the Center for Strategic and International Studies called Trump's language "uniquely divisive" and said North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members' contributions should be measured by more than simple budget numbers. But NATO diplomats say only two-thirds of the 28 allies, excluding the United States, have a realistic plan to hit that level by then.

President Trump will be in Europe this week to meet with world leaders - allies and adversaries alike - to discuss pivotal agenda items for American, NATO, and global stability interests.

"I really can't say right now". He called Putin a "competitor". Trump has been calling for the allies to increase their defense spending, and indeed they have. "I think that getting along with Russian Federation, getting along with China, is a good thing".

As NATO said in its June update: "This does not mean that the United States covers 67 per cent of the costs involved in the operational running of NATO as an organisation, including its headquarters in Brussels and its subordinate military commands, but it does mean that there is an over-reliance by the Alliance as a whole on the United States for the provision of essential capabilities, including for instance, in regard to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; air-to-air refuelling; ballistic missile defence; and airborne electronic warfare".

Trump, who has also questioned the USA military presence in Asia, is challenging those assumptions.

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As we have written before, Trump is conflating NATO's direct and indirect spending to claim that the U.S. Putin reportedly has been telling Trump that "fake news" and the "deep state" are conspiring against them.

Mr Trump said he had not spoken with Mrs May, adding: "Boris Johnson is a friend of mine. Wow!" And in multiple tweets, he reiterated a familiar theme, complaining that the USA is shouldering an unfair share of defense costs overseas: "NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS", he tweeted.

Last month, the USA raised fears of a trade war by slapping tariffs on steel and aluminium from the EU, Canada, Mexico and other United States allies. Trump left that meeting without signing the joint statement from the seven nations and antagonizing important USA allies, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

She said: "We have a tight relationship with our allies in the European Union, yet this government is tearing us away from them just as Trump is making a mockery of our so-called special relationship". Other NATO members are already pushing back, arguing that their commitment to defense is rising and they back USA priorities in other important ways.

US Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison, meanwhile, emphasized the importance of strengthening the alliance ahead of Trump's visit - indicating some cognitive dissonance with the President. "But above all when you meet President Putin in Helsinki", he said.

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