Trump Says 'No Problem' In NATO, Touting Allies' Spending Pledges

Cooper Trump's NATO grievance not factual

Trump: "Yesterday I let them know that I was extremely unhappy at what was happening and they have substantially upped their commitment".

"The commitment was at two percent and that'll be going up quite a bit higher than that", he said.

Merkel said she welcomed the chance to have an "exchange of views" with Trump.

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.

And while all member nations have agreed, in principle, to work toward the 2 percent spending goal, each country is ultimately beholden to unique political processes and must consult with their respective parliaments to secure increased military spending.

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Trump claimed a personal victory at the summit after telling European allies to increase spending or lose Washington's support.

"The President is pretty straightforward about what he believes and he thinks Nord Stream 2 is not in the European Union's best interest, and my bet is he'll be more than happy to tell President Putin that straight to his face", said Mr. Perry. "He may deny it", Trump told reporters.

The Times carries a picture of Mr Trump and his wife Melania leaving London to head to Blenheim Palace alongside a report of the United States president's criticism of Mrs May's Brexit plans.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg cited a "new sense of urgency, and all allies agreed to redouble their efforts".

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic mounted a charm offensive at the summit, presenting Trump with a Croatian soccer jersey as giving him plenty of attention. Russian Federation is far from happy to see a US-led military alliance encroaching on its border.

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USA officials told Reuters that the White House is preparing another review of strategy in Afghanistan, just a year after Trump hesitantly extended the involvement in America's longest war. In response, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation official said Tbilisi would join the alliance after meeting all of the necessary requirements, stressing that the members of the alliance should first reach a consensus on a Membership Action Plan for the country. That was just one of several helicopter rides on the agenda for Trump, whose staff opted to keep him largely out of central London and the swarms of demonstrators who are likely to provide some of the defining images of his first official trip to the United Kingdom.

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".

Stoltenberg acknowledged that Trump had expressed himself in "very direct language" but insisted that away from the fiery rhetoric the allies all agree on fundamental issues: the need to boost NATO's resilience, fight terror and share the cost of defence more equally. "I don't. I'm very consistent", Trump said.

Still, Trump has been more conciliatory behind the scenes, including at a leaders' dinner Wednesday.

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