Trump scolds NATO members days ahead of summit

Frederick Owens
July 10, 2018

"It's not as much as 2 percent yet, but I think they will recommit more to do more because they realize that Europe does need to do more and they are the strongest of the economies in Europe", Hutchison added.

Now only three European countries hit the two percent target, and while alliance officials are hopeful that four more will join the list by the July 11-12 summit, it is unlikely to satisfy Trump. The White House downplayed the significance of the encounter, but experts expressed concern there was no official US record of the talk.

He then laced into German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will be in attendance in Brussels, complaining about how much the United States put toward Germany's defense: "And I said, you know, Angela, I can't guarantee it, but we're protecting you, and it means a lot more to you". When I served as Nato's supreme allied commander from 2009-2013, we had controversy and disagreements aplenty over Afghanistan and Libya, for example, and endless arguments over equitable burden-sharing between the U.S. and the other allies.

US President Donald Trump delivers remarks at a "Salute to Service" dinner held in honour of the nation's military at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, US, July 3, 2018.

U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchinson says Russian Federation aims to destabilize NATO with a wide array of "malign activities".

"It is entirely possible for a U.S. -Russia summit to be constructive, but I'm very concerned that after his recent performance at the G-7 in Canada, President Trump will once again clash with our closest allies at the upcoming North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, only to then engage in fawning photo ops with President Putin afterwards", Senate Foreign Relations member Chris Coons of DE said on June 27.

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Allies are braced for a barrage of invective from Trump for not spending enough on defense, and are apprehensive that his often skeptical tone on the alliance that has underpinned European security for 70 years might turn into outright hostility.

Since even before the 2016 election, conspiracy theories about Trump and Putin abounded.

"Russia should be in this meeting", Trump said in June.

As the investigation into ties between Russian Federation and trump continues, Trump's decision to meet one-on-one with Putin at an upcoming summit has drawn particular scrutiny, It seems Trump either does really have troubling ties to the Kremlin, or he doesn't mind acting in ways that make it look that way.

This disdain for USA allies is essentially the beating heart of much of Trump's foreign policy, it seems. US officials said the two sides this time would be discussing Russian election meddling, Russia's incursions in the Ukraine and involvement in Syria.

Much of the rest of Trump's foreign policy is equally weird.

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