That’s from a tweet by Trump on Saturday morning.
In brushing off the diplomatic row with Britain, Mr Trump also revived another – the Obama administration’s monitoring of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s calls.
Merkel gave Trump a puzzled look and assembled reporters in the East Room of the White House laughed.
Merkel rejected Trump’s suggestion that individual European countries should negotiate free trade deals with the US, rather than under existing EU-US negotiations.
Trump brought up the issue of NATO when he was campaigning for president, saying the USA was paying too much into the alliance and complaining that other countries who were benefiting from the treaty were not paying their fair share. But he insisted that the European nations “must pay what they owe”.
The German defense minister also questioned how military spending was calculated, arguing that a country’s financial commitment to the military alliance shouldn’t be the only measure.
Trump’s allegations against President Barack Obama have sparked reactions ranging from bafflement to anger in Washington, with both Democrats and Republican lawmakers saying they have no evidence to support his claim. However, only a handful of the 28 members actually meet that target. In reality, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has only a small logistical budget, which relies on funding by all member states.
The president wrote that he’d had a “GREAT meeting with” Merkel, brushing off what he termed “fake” reports suggesting otherwise.
“The US decides for itself how much it contributes to defending NATO”, Daalder continued.
Nato – which stands for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation – is an alliance of western countries, including the United Kingdom, which have agreed to defend each other against an attack from an external threat, such as Russian Federation. Germany spends about 1.2 percent on defence now. That’s a good thing. She’s the most important leader in Europe. “But because their security requires it”.
Trump suggested before he took office that the United States might not come to the defense of allies who didn’t meet the 2 per cent spending goal, and said the coalition doesn’t always best serve American interests.
The defense minster stressed the need for a modern security concept so that the burden could be equally shared.
He said: “A president only has so much political capital to expend and so much moral authority as well, and so any time your credibility takes a hit, I think in many ways it weakens the officeholder”. His grandparents left for America more than a century ago fleeing poverty and later, after a brief return, trouble with the law.
Merkel (to Trump): Do you want to have a handshake?
Pressed on what course of action he would take if the answer were no, Trump said: “Well, I’m not saying if not”, he said.