North Atlantic Treaty Organisation survives Trump, but the turmoil is leaving scars

Trump lashes out at NATO allies calling for increase in defence spending

"Not acceptable! All NATO Nations must meet their 2% commitment, and that must ultimately go to 4%!" That's still true today; this year Congress casually flung another $61 billion - roughly enough to pay for free tuition in every public college and university in the country - on top of the already-mountainous military budget.

"Tremendous progress has been made, everyone's agreed to substantially up their commitment, they're going to up it at levels they've never thought of before", Trump told a press conference before leaving for a visit to Britain.

"So if you go back 10 or 20 years, you'll just add it all up".

"It is up to President Trump to hold Putin accountable for his actions during the meeting in Helsinki", McCain said in a statement.

The summit's dramatic, chaotic conclusion - complete with the USA president suddenly making demands following a formal communique - bore a striking similarity to Trump's departure from last month's G7 meetings in Quebec.

Then-President Obama in 2016 had also predicted a tough road for a US-UK trade deal.

Mr. Trump's comments came ahead of his summit on Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, though the Kremlin said they were unlikely to have an impact on what was always going to be a hard meeting due to the number of disagreements between the two countries.

However, a formal summit declaration issued by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders Wednesday reaffirmed their "unwavering commitment" to the two per cent pledge set in 2014 and made no reference to any effort to get to four per cent.

Politico said Trump warned of "grave consequences" if the allies did not immediately meet the 2 per cent spending targets.

When asked if he was going to change his cooperative tone once he's out of the country (as he's been known to do), he replied by referencing one of his greatest hits - "I'm a very stable genius".

"We are being played for fools", he reportedly told leaders at a meeting meant to revolve around Georgia and Ukraine.

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Amid the tumult, British Prime Minister Theresa May sounded a call for solidarity among the allies, saying, "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".

There had been concern that President Trump might leave the alliance.

"Trump said things plainly as is normal between friends and allies", said Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

"So we have a commitment to spend two percent".

Trump added that May's "soft" blueprint for the U.K.'s future dealings with the European Union would probably "kill" any future trade deals with the United States.

Says Stoltenberg: "We have agreed that we're committed to the pledge increasing defence spending to 2 percent".

Excerpts from Trump's bombshell interview were published Thursday just as the president was scheduled to dine with May at the palace.

To Trump, and not only to him, we are being used, gouged, by rich nations we defend, while they skimp on their own defense. But with Trump scheduled to meet with President Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation on Monday, the gathering was dominated by wrangling over money.

He may deny it, ' Trump said.

He triggered an emergency session on the spending issue, before emerging from the turmoil to say "I believe in Nato" in response to reports that he had threatened to pull out.

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