Fact check: Trump's half-truths and false statements at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit
13 July, 2018, 10:16 | Author: Mary Valdez
One media report cited North Atlantic Treaty Organisation officials saying Stoltenberg called an emergency session of alliance leaders after Trump demanded they all lift defence spending to 4 per cent of GDP - even more than the United States spends - or face the US' disengagement from the pact.
"We made a tremendous amount of progress today since past year", Trump said during a surprise news conference Thursday.
"Tremendous progress has been made, everyone's agreed to substantially up their commitment they're going to up it at levels they've never thought of before". He said he was "extremely unhappy" with the situation, but that alliance members have upped their commitments to defense spending in response to his complaints.
Asked about pressures on countries with weaker finances, he said, "We have many wealthy countries with us today but we have some that aren't so wealthy and they did ask me if they could buy the military equipment, and could I help them out, and we will help them out a little bit", he told a news conference.
Trump closed out the tumultuous two-day summit by reaffirming the United States' commitment to the almost 70-year-old alliance and signing the joint declaration, despite spending much of the summit berating allies over defence spending and accusing Germany of being beholden to Russia because it buys Russian natural gas.
Not only did Trump demand on Twitter on Thursday that countries meet the 2% level by this year, not 2024, but he also said all countries should eventually hit 4%, which is more than even the U.S. now spends. But I said, ultimately we should be - in years in advance, we should be at 4 percent.
When asked if he was anxious that the Putin-Trump meeting could have negative consequences for Poland, Duda said he expected Trump to continue the US stance of supporting Poland.
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Around eight members of the 29-country military alliance are expected to reach the 2 per cent target this year. The combative leader closed out the summit by claiming that member nations caved to his demand for a significant increase in their defence spending.
President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic mounted a charm offensive at the summit, presenting Trump with a Croatian soccer jersey as giving him plenty of attention.
The Nato leaders, gathered in Brussels, held an unplanned emergency meeting earlier on Thursday after Mr Trump told allies to immediately increase their defence spending, diplomatic sources said.
"The fact is that we have a commitment to increase defense spending".
Conway said Trump is looking for a "commonality" with Russian Federation in order to work for "peace and prosperity", and contrary to Barack Obama, has been "transparent" about his Russian Federation policy. "And I know that's valued very highly over here and people can disagree strongly and still go out to dinner".
Trump also singled out Germany over its low-levels of defense spending - it now spends 1.24 percent of its GDP on defense - and renewed his criticism of a controversial gas pipeline deal between Germany and Russian Federation made a day earlier.
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Of Nato's 29 members, just five meet that target this year: the US, Greece, Estonia, the United Kingdom and Latvia. Trump called Germany a rich country that could increase its defense spending immediately if it wanted to.
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