Trump Declares Himself 'Genius' After NATO Meeting

Trump rails against Germany, demands allies double NATO spending

Trump: "Only five of 29 countries were making their commitment and that's now changed".

Warner said he's concerned the US "President can be taken advantage of" by Putin, and that if a meeting cannot have additional attendees it should be scrapped.

People present said he had earlier warned he would "go it alone" if allies, notably Germany, did not make vast increases in their defence budgets for next year.

Reversing the harsh criticisms he has leveled at NATO, President Trump says the alliance is very strong - in part because of promises from America's allies to boost their military budgets to 2 percent of their gross domestic product. "We made a tremendous amount of progress today", he told reporters.

A commitment to defend each other is the bedrock of the alliance and any suggestion that the United States would not come to Europe's aid because, as Trump has suggested, they owe "massive" sums, could be a blow to its deterrence. "And you'll be seeing that and I guess you'll be hearing that a little bit later".

"I think we go into that meeting not looking for so much".

And as the leader of the bigger military power in the world they have to continue to work with Donald Trump and try to find a way to keep him happy. Lithuania's foreign minister tweeted, "We are resolute, committed to mutual defence, [and] fair burden sharing". Tens of thousands of people are likely to protest in the British capital on Friday, while Trump is outside the city at May's country residence Chequers, before visiting Windsor to meet the Queen. "I don't know that is what they voted for".

"The relationship is very strong", Trump insisted, though he did not directly answer questions about the Sun interview. He seemed to suggest a speeded-up timeline, saying nations would be "spending at a much faster clip", which if it panned out would mark a significant milestone for the alliance.

And not long after, French President Emmanuel Macron said no-one had agreed to any figure higher than what was in the leaders' communique - 2 per cent by 2024 - a leaders' statement that Donald Trump had signed the day before.

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

US President Donald Trump gestures as he holds a news conference after participating in the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium July 12, 2018. It's very detailed. It confirms the goal of 2 per cent by 2024.

Some European officials feel strongly that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation should be more confident in calling out Trump's mis-statements about the alliance.

"It will be over a relatively short period of years", Trump said.

In a series of tweets at the time, Trump said that "throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart".

The leaders of France and Italy disputed Trump's assertions, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who is loathe to contradict the mercurial USA president, repeatedly dodged questions seeking precision.

Trump also slammed the Nord Stream II pipeline that is set to bring gas from Russian Federation to Germany, calling it a "horrible mistake" that would give Moscow power over Berlin.

"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". I don't. I'm very consistent.

Still, European economies have been growing recently, making the 2 percent of GDP target ever harder to achieve, and Trump's spending demand is at least in part aimed at drumming up business for the US defense industry.

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