Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Trump says he'll bring up election meddling with Putin

Trump lashes out at NATO allies calling for increase in defence spending Canada part of NATO communique affirming defence spending target despite PM's remarks
Ginger Lawrence | 13 July, 2018, 16:14

Trump claimed member nations had agreed to boost their defense budgets significantly and reaffirmed - after days of griping that the USA was being taken advantage of by its allies - that the US remains faithful to the accord.

Trump claimed a personal victory at the summit after telling European allies to increase spending or lose Washington's support.

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.

In a series of tweets at the time, Trump said that "throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart". At an impromptu conference, Trump said America's commitment to the alliance "is very strong".

Trump did not specify which countries had committed to what, and it remained unclear whether any had changed their plans. He seemed to suggest a speeded-up timeline, saying nations would be "spending at a much faster clip", which if it panned out would mark a significant milestone for the alliance.

"We are increasing our defence budget".

Of the 29-member alliance, only the UK, Poland, Estonia and debt-ridden Greece met the benchmark in 2017.

Macron, in his own press conference, seemed to reject Trump's claim that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation powers had agreed to increases beyond previous targets. "It confirms the goal of 2% by 2024".

Wallace said he will ask Putin about Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and potential meddling in the upcoming midterm elections.

Trump sends political shockwave through United Kingdom with interview on Brexit, protests
The Trumps arrived at Stansted Airport near London on Air Force One earlier that afternoon for the controversial trip to Britain. He obviously likes me, and says very good things about me. "I'd like to see them be able to work it out so it could go quickly".

He complained the United States "pays tens of Billions of Dollars too much to subsidize Europe" and demanded that member nations meet their pledge to spend 2 per cent of GDP on defence, which "must ultimately go to 4%!"

Trump's surprise demand came after he clashed with Chancellor Angela Merkel, calling Germany a "captive" of Russian Federation because of its gas links and singling out Berlin for failing to pay its way.

At Thursday's press conference, he repeated an incorrect claim that the U.S. "pays for 70 to 90% of NATO".

Trump later called the meeting a "success".

Trump also singled out Germany and its chancellor Angela Merkel for criticism, a day after saying Berlin had become a "captive of Russia" because of a gas pipeline deal and should be paying more for defense.

Trump did not directly answer questions about whether he had threatened to take the U.S. out of the alliance, saying he "told people I'd be very unhappy if they didn't up their commitments very substantially".

Trump repeated demands on the second day of the summit for countries to meet a spending target of two percent of GDP now, instead of by 2024, and to eventually double spending to four percent. "And I said, 'Putin may be the easiest of them all.' You never know".

"As we engage Russian Federation we must do so from a position of unity and strength - holding out hope for a better future, but also clear and unwavering on where Russian Federation needs to change its behaviour for this to become a reality", she said. Although Trump administration officials point to the longstanding alliance between the United States and the United Kingdom, Trump's itinerary in England will largely keep him out of central London, where significant protests are expected. Does it benefit the U.S.in any way? And one of the freedoms we have is freedom of speech and the freedom to express your views. The US was at 3.6 percent, pouring nearly $700 billion into the Pentagon.