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Trump claims NATO victory after ultimatum to go it alone

13 July 2018

Trump threw the summit into turmoil by demanding not only that allies reach their commitment to increase spending to two percent of GDP "immediately" - instead of by 2024 as previously agreed - but also telling them to eventually double the figure to a punishing four percent.

"Everyone's agreed to substantially up their commitments, they've agreed to up it to levels that they have never thought of before".

Despite Trump's bellicose tweets in the run up to and during the summit, French President Emmanuel Macron called the talks "respectful", adding that France would meet its two percent spending target by 2024.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro will lead a high-level team attending the Farnborough Airshow outside London next week to advocate on behalf of United States aerospace and defence companies.

"Yesterday I let them know that I was extremely unhappy with what was happening", Trump said, adding that, in response, European countries agreed to up their spending.

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

Trump stressed that NATO's budget had been unfair to the United States but now he was sure it would be fair.

Another NATO diplomat said Trump trampled on protocol by pointing at some leaders he said were not spending enough and addressing Merkel by her first name, referring to her as "you, Angela".

But the United States president is expected to face mass protests during his trip's next leg in London - complete with a giant "Trump baby" balloon - that tens of thousands of people have said they plan to attend. I don't. I'm very consistent.

"At the end of the day, however, I know that the relations between the United States and Canada militarily are going to continue to be superb". "Hopefully some day he will be a friend". I think they agree with me on immigration. "We need that to get more in balance", retired U.S. Navy Admiral James Stavridis said in an interview with host Vassy Kapelos on CBC News Network's Power & Politics Thursday. "All I can do is say "Did you?' and 'Don't do it again" - but he may deny it".

North Korea has yet to take substantial steps to dismantle its nuclear arsenal, and on Thursday appeared to backtrack on a pledge to repatriate the remains of American war dead - a move that Trump weeks ago said the North had already undertaken.

Journalist Tom Newton Dunn, Trump's interviewer, said the president seemed "sensitive" about the inflatable "Trump baby" being flown over London and its accompanying protests, set for Friday. "Therefore there is no additional spending", he said Thursday.

Stoltenberg, a former Norwegian premier who Trump said gave him "total credit" for a successful summit, told reporters: "We had a very frank and open discussion ..."

Mr Trump fuelled a fire by appearing to criticise prime minister Theresa May's Brexit plan, after the resignation of foreign secretary Boris Johnson and her minister in charge of the European Union exit, David Davis. "It was the same wording as past year", the official said.

"They will. I have no doubt about it", he said. "President Trump must demand and secure a real, concrete and comprehensive agreement that the Russians will cease their ongoing attacks on our democracy".

With allies fearing he could strike some sort of deal with Nato's key adversary, Trump said that he saw Putin as a "competitor" but not an "enemy".

The NATO summit was an opportunity to follow up on EU-NATO cooperation. Or were there some European leaders who were really anxious about a bite and anxious that the United States was really not going to stay the, you know, strong force in this alliance?

Trump claims NATO victory after ultimatum to go it alone