Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Trump Criticizes NATO Members Ahead Of Key Summit

Trump Criticizes NATO Members Ahead Of Key Summit

The tweet continued Trump's weird idea that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is some kind of protection racket, and that American military spending - which Trump has repeatedly advocated increasing - is some kind of charitable donation to American allies, rather than an assertion of US power overseas.

The president appeared to be referring to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would bring gas from Russian Federation to Germany's northeastern Baltic coast, bypassing Eastern European nations like Poland and Ukraine and doubling the amount of gas Russian Federation can send directly to Germany. "And dear Europe, spend more on your defence, because everyone respects an ally that is well prepared and equipped". Not fair to the USA taxpayer. "I think that getting along with Russian Federation, getting along with China is a good thing, getting along with others is a good thing".

He said that of the high-stakes meetings of his trip, "Putin may be the easiest of them all". Mr. Trump was expected to see German Chancellor Angela Merkel later in the day.

"NATO has been able to overcome those differences again and again".

Trump's tweets would likely set a combative tone for the upcoming meetings.

In a startling public outburst, Trump told NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg that Germany was wrong to support a new $11-billion Baltic Sea pipeline to import Russian gas while being slow to meet targets for contributing to NATO defense spending that was meant to protect Europe from Russia.

"This has been going on for decades and it is disproportionate and not fair to the taxpayers of the United States and we're going to make it fair". They got rid of their coal plants, they got rid of their nuclear, they're getting so much of their oil and gas from Russian Federation. "I have great confidence they'll be spending more".

He wrote: "The spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them".

That's not how the spending works.

"NATO benefits Europe far more than it does the U.S.", Trump claimed.

Speaking on the lawn of the White House as he and his wife Melania prepared to board the Marine One presidential helicopter, Mr Trump said that the United Kingdom "certainly has a lot of things going on".

During his campaign, Mr. He also called Brussels a "hell hole" and "a mess".

For his part, Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker remarked that "NATO and the European Union are the most natural of partners", adding that the EU executive had proposed a dramatic increase in defence spending in its draft 2021-2027 budget. He said Wednesday that last year's increases marked the largest in a generation.

Trump has ramped up his rhetoric ahead of the talks - including in three separate tirades on Twitter on Monday and Tuesday - making the summit one of the most hard in years for the military alliance that has underpinned European security since World War II. "I want to compliment the secretary general, he's worked very hard on this problem". "He may be the only one, but that's OK with me".

The meeting comes ahead of Mr Trump's four-day working visit to the United Kingdom, during which he will hold talks with Mrs May at Chequers, meet the Queen in Windsor Castle and spend two days in Scotland preparing for Monday's face-to-face summit with Mr Putin in Finland.

Mr. Trump predicted as he departed Washington that the "easiest" leg of his journey would be his scheduled sit-down Putin - a comment that did little to reassure allies fretting over his potential embrace of a Russian leader USA intelligence officials accuse of meddling in the 2016 elections to help Mr. Trump win. "As far as I'm concerned, a competitor, a competitor".

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