Sources close to the talks told DW’s Teri Schultz that Trump demanded European NATO members meet the alliance target immediately, rather than increase spending gradually as agreed to at a previous NATO summit in 2014.
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.
Macron disputed those claims as well.
Matt DeCourcey, Parliamentary secretary to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, told The House Canada will continue to remain a “committed contributor” to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
Referring to an ongoing investigation into ties between his election campaign and Russian Federation, he decried a “rigged witch-hunt” that was hurting the United States and its relationship with Russian Federation. Former NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow said on paper the summit was a success because of binding commitments to present a plan for increased defense spending and the development of the long-awaited Southern Strategy.
Air Force One has landed at London Stansted Airport, where Trump is beginning a four-day visit to the country.
Trump arrived late for the first meeting of the day, a session meant to voice support for Ukraine and Georgia, both of which are battling Russian-backed separatists.
But just days out from a high-stakes meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, the mercurial United States leader threatened to throw the transatlantic alliance into disarray. Now, never more vividly apparent than in his behavior Wednesday, President Donald Trump seems perfectly inclined to dismantle it, if that serves his objective.
When asked if this was true, Trump did not directly deny it.
“So I would imagine that’s what they will do, but maybe they will take a little bit of a different route”. He wanted 4 percent. Trump: “The additional money that they’re willing to put up has been really awesome … That’s all.” In the end, leaders left with an awkward consensus, after hours in which Trump had been so aggressive in his approach with allies that reports made the rounds that he might pull the USA out.
The summit’s dramatic, chaotic conclusion – complete with the US president suddenly making demands following a formal communique – bore a striking similarity to Trump’s departure from last month’s G7 meetings in Quebec.
“So that was on Barack Obama’s watch. That is all.” This is a direct and blatant contradiction of the American President by a leader who was once his best friend in Europe. Trump called it “a fantastic meeting”, speaking at a news conference Thursday before flying to Britain.
“Without doubt these days, modern law gives more importance to the background noise than the music that was played”, Macron said as the summit wound down.
“He’s been very nice to me the times I’ve met him”.
Earlier on Thursday, Trump called out USA allies on Twitter, saying, “Presidents have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get Germany and other rich NATO Nations to pay more toward their protection from Russian Federation”. “The US pays tens of billions of dollars too much to subsidize Europe and loses Big on Trade!” he said. “They pay only a fraction of their cost”.
There, while on board Air Force 1, he used his Twitter feed to rescind his support of a joint communique and slam Trudeau personally after hearing the prime minister repeat Canada’s insistence it would defend itself from USA aggression on trade.