Donald Trump did what most expected he would. He upended the NATO summit in Brussels demanding other nations raise their contributions to the alliance or, he threatened, “he’d go his own way.” From The Washington Post:
- “It was not clear whether Trump was threatening a U.S. withdrawal from NATO, but some diplomats perceived his comments that way.
- “Trump told NATO leaders that if they did not meet their defense spending targets of 2 percent of gross domestic product by January, the United States would go it alone, according to two officials briefed on the meeting.”
Trump later said the U.S. remains committed to the alliance and that other nations had agreed to raise their financial commitment to 2 percent of GDP. French President Emmanuel Macron denied Trump threatened to leave NATO and he also denied other members had agreed to spending increases.
BREAKING: French President Macron denies Trump claim that NATO powers agreed to increase defense spending beyond previous targets.
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 12, 2018
At a news conference following the summit, Trump claimed victory and again said he is a “very stable genius.”
Asked if his comments at NATO will change once he leaves Brussels and starts tweeting again, President Trump says no and he's a "very stable genius." pic.twitter.com/1Lf9Fn8FVU
— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 12, 2018
From The Washington Post:
- Asked at a news conference whether he could withdraw the United States from NATO without congressional approval, Trump replied, “I think I probably can, but that’s unnecessary.” He added: “The people have stepped up today” as they never have before. “Everyone in the room thanked me. There was a great collegial spirit in that room. . . . Very unified, very strong. No problem.”