Trump rails against Germany, demands allies double North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spending

Donald Trump

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who called the summit "very intense", and other leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron, played down the extent to which they had pledged to accelerate spending plans as fast as Trump wanted.

"We need to look at the history of Putin, whether he's been a reliable energy supplier or whether he's used energy for geopolitical pressure, which he has", Bloomfield said. "I believe in NATO", Trump told a press conference after a fraught NATO summit in Brussels.

Trump said he had been "extremely unhappy" with allies' low levels of defense spending before the summit, but was pleased "they have substantially upped their commitment" during a "fantastic" unscheduled crisis meeting on Thursday morning.

When the summit resumed for a session with the leaders of non-members Ukraine and Georgia, Trump failed to appear for almost an hour, officials said.

Macron, however, added that he thought North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was now "much stronger" and dismissed reports that Trump had threatened to pull the United States out of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation if the spending row was not resolved.

In an apparent swipe at Trump, he added: "Sometimes the corridors, comments and tweets take on more importance than what is negotiated, said or endorsed by heads of state".

At a news conference recently European Council President Donald Tusk had a warning for Trump over his "almost daily" criticisms of Europe's defense spending."Dear President Trump, America does not have and will not have a better ally than Europe", Tusk said.

"President Trump never at any moment, either in public or in private, threatened to withdraw from NATO", Macron told reporters.

He added the USA criticism of the planned Nord Stream 2 pipeline was rooted in Washington's desire to encourage European Union nations to buy more expensive liquefied gas from the U.S. "Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025". "I think that's very inappropriate".

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Trump has several times assailed Germany for not spending a large enough proportion of its gross domestic product on defense.

Officials said that non-members of the alliance had been asked to leave the room early Thursday and that everyone in the room had been told to leave their phones outside.

And he said Canada has promised to reverse a decline in military resources with an eye towards the two per cent target.

People present said he raged that allies, notably Germany, did not make vast increases in their defence budgets.

Under fire for his warm embrace of Russia's Vladimir Putin, Trump on Wednesday also turned a harsh spotlight on Germany's own ties to Russian Federation, alleging that a natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel's government "totally controlled" and "captive" to Russian Federation.

"We are supposed to be guarding against Russian Federation, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions dollars a year to Russian Federation".

The mood had appeared to have calmed as the summit went into its second day, focusing on operations beyond Europe. Many have been in preparation for at least six months, having been endorsed by ambassadors, foreign and defence ministers to make it easier for the leaders to put pen to paper.

"All I can do is say "did you?' and 'don't do it again".

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