Trump departs for Brussels with harsh criticism for NATO allies

Donald and Melania Trump

Donald and Melania Trump

He says the United States is shouldering too much of the defense burden for the alliance. "Very Unfair!" wrote Trump in the Tuesday morning series of tweets.

After Putin mentioned that White House officials were trying to interfere, a person with direct knowledge of the conversation said that Trump told to Putin, "Those are stupid people; you shouldn't listen to them, "The New York Times reported Monday".

In the past few weeks, Trump has sent sharply worded letters to the leaders of several European countries, including Germany, Italy and Norway, as well as to Canada, urging increased defense spending and warning that the USA was losing patience.

Estimated 2017 defense spending as a percentage of GDP was 1.2 per cent in Germany, Europe's biggest economy. It is not a protection scheme where the allies pay the United States. That includes running numerous military bases, missile defense systems, training operations, and more.

"I really can't say right now". But the nations are "stepping up", even if they haven't yet reached their target contribution to the military alliance, U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison told PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff on Monday. Instead, years of defense cuts followed, after the 2008 financial crisis.

Countries including France and German have already agreed to up their defence spending. The increase has been ongoing since 2014, when Russian Federation invaded Crimea, but the allies signaled they would be happy to let Trump claim credit.

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Members signed on to the two percent benchmark in 2014 at the NATO Summit in Wales in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea.

US President Donald Trump hailed Britain's Boris Johnson as a friend of his Tuesday after he quit Theresa May's government and said he may speak to the former foreign secretary in the coming days.

In a tweet posted before his departure, Mr Trump put European allies on notice that he will be taking a tough stance on their contributions to the military alliance, as well as barriers to USA trade. "Europe far more than it does the US". "This is the fourth year in a row when defence spending is increasing". Trump's praise of Kim after those talks stood in stark contrast to the harsh rhetoric he directed to Trudeau and the other G-7 leaders. "A competitor", the president said. The budget for the European Deterrence Initiative, put in place after the Russian actions in Ukraine, nearly tripled between 2016 and 2017 and is expected to reach over $6.5 billion by 2019.

But Mrs May's plans for Brexit would tie Britain to the European Union by having a common rulebook on goods making it nearly impossible to have a free trade deal with the United States or other countries.

European Union and USA government data put the U.S. trade deficit with the European Union at around $100 billion, including services such as finance, where the United States has a surplus. The fact that the United States maintains about 70,000 troops in Europe gives him additional leverage.

Another point of concern for NATO allies is Trump's planned meeting with Russian President Putin immediately after the summit in Brussels, drawing parallels with Trump's post-G7 meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

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