Trump Claims Money 'Beginning to Pour in' From NATO Allies

Andrew Cummings
May 28, 2017

And now Trump has arrived at the final stop of his maiden global trip, a grueling nine-day, five-stop marathon. Only five members now meet the target, but the other nations are committed to the goal by 2024.

James Comey, the former FBI director leading the Russian probe until Trump abruptly fired him, is still expected to testify before Congress about the memos he kept on conversations with the president that involved the investigation.

Last year, Trump threatened to abandon US allies in Europe if they did not spend enough on defense, comments that were particularly unnerving for the ex-Soviet Baltic states on Russia's border which fear Moscow might try a repeat of its 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea.

"It was a good, cordial and friendly discussion", a spokesperson from the European Commission told CNBC on Thursday regarding Trump's meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk. The president hosted Abe at the White House and his Mar-a-Lago resort back in February, where they appeared to hit it off.

But Trump increased the pressure, calling that agreement made at a summit in Wales in 2014 "the bare minimum".

Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the second-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, said in a statement that Trump "should not be lecturing our closest and most steadfast allies".

"It's a big problem, it's a world problem, but it will be solved at some point". At one point, Trump was standing alone on a stage while other world leaders were conversing with each other. "President Trump, during the campaign, had not shown a full commitment to that".

After meeting Trump on Thursday in Brussels, Tusk told a news conference: "It was clear for both of us that the European Union at 27 is more united after Brexit than before Brexit".

"Mr. Trump lectured the members for falling short on pledges to spend 2 percent of their gross domestic products on the military, much as he had hectored them on this subject during his presidential campaign", the piece reads.

Trump on Thursday chastised North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies for not "contributing their fair share" and meeting financial obligations for defense funding.

Speaking at a ceremony on Thursday to dedicate a memorial to NATO's resolve in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Trump used the occasion to remind the alliance that "23 of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they are supposed to be paying", and that they owe "massive amounts" from past years, the Washington Post reported.

The small Balkan country will formally become NATO's 29th state in June but Markovic joined the Brussels summit, Trump's first, and a ceremonial opening of the alliance's new headquarters.

Other reports by iNewsToday