Donald Trump: 'Nato is much stronger than it was two days ago'

Frederick Owens
July 12, 2018

"I'm a very stable genius", he said.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the summit atmosphere was "much calmer than everyone had said" and he saw a will to maintain the unity of the alliance, while Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said Trump was "constructive". We want to find out about Syria.

President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin talk during the family photo session at the APEC Summit in Danang, Vietnam November 11, 2017. But not before Merkel and other top officials in the German government had publicly fired back at Trump's breakfast diatribe.

A pair of GOP senators who have been more critical of Trump's foreign policy took a separate trip to Europe over the July Fourth recess.

"I think he has to expect they're going to deny, deny everything", the South Dakotan said.

Trump took his war of words with America's allies to a new level Wednesday, telling NATO's top official that Germany is "captive" to Russian Federation due to a recent energy deal. The figure is non-binding, and the goal was to reach it by 2024, not immediately.

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.

He also said that he has hope for what the allies can do to marginalize Putin, even if Trump refuses to.

Members agreed in 2014 to increase their spending to 2 percent of their gross domestic product in 10 years, but it was unclear what they agreed to in Brussels.

Macron said: There is a communique that was published yesterday. Most NATO members are spending less than 2 percent, though more are moving in that direction. White House officials announced that Mr. Trump would give an unscheduled news conference on Thursday in Brussels amid the tumult over his demands for increased spending.

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"I have to tell you that the atmosphere last night at dinner was very open, was very constructive and it was very positive", Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, the president of Croatia, told reporters.

"I myself have also experienced a part of Germany being controlled by the Soviet Union", she said.

Mr Trump refused to deny that he had threatened to pull the U.S. out of the organisation, but said the atmosphere in the meeting was cordial.

"Everybody's talking about it all over the world, they're saying we're paying you billions of dollars to protect you but you're paying billions of dollars to Russian Federation", he said Wednesday at a breakfast meeting with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief Jens Stoltenberg. Trump and Merkel later held businesslike talks on the sidelines of the summit.

"I don't. I'm very consistent".

Trump even made a decision to (jokingly?) reiterate his claim to being a "stable genius".

Trump leaves Brussels on Thursday for some extra time with one key member of the alliance: British Prime Minister Theresa May. In the afternoon, he heads to his next stop: the United Kingdom. He noted that he had met with Trump the evening before and they discussed increasing the USA troop presence in Poland.

It's an uncomfortable environment for May, who is facing her own political unrest outside of Trump's visit.

He and first lady Melania Trump were caught on camera chatting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during an evening reception before a working dinner. He described the a "hot-spot with lots of resignations". "Will they reimburse the USA?"

He also said meeting the queen would be an experience Trump "will really cherish". "We have a tremendous relationship with Germany", he said.

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