Trump claims credit for defence boost after reportedly threatening to quit North Atlantic Treaty Organisation



After raising the threat of the USA leaving NATO, Trump said on Thursday that there are no problems, adding that America's allies had pledged to increase defense spending commitments "very substantially".

The United States and Canada swung sharply on Sunday (10 June) toward a diplomatic and trade crisis as top White House advisers lashed out at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a day after US President Trump called him "very dishonest and weak".

"We should first get to two percent", NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said, adding that eight of the 29 allies were meeting that target, while others had a plan to do so - turning a leaf on years of defence budget cuts.

"Everyone in the room thanked me", he said.

Dr. Claudia Major, a researcher at the German Institute for International Security affairs, said that Germany, in particular, does more for the alliance than spend on its own defense, including deploying troops to Afghanistan, "and eventually, two percent is an arbitrary measurement that does not say much about efficiency and output".

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen told NPR on Wednesday that Trump makes a fair point that Germany should spend more but is not the first USA president to urge that.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries in 2014 committed to spending 2 percent of their gross domestic products on defense by 2024, but North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has estimated that only 15 members, or just over half, will meet the benchmark by 2024 based on current trends.

Says Trump: "I think meeting with people is great".

When asked about the footage, Trump's press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Kelly was simply "displeased because he was expecting a full breakfast and there were only pastries and cheese", the Washington Post reported.

Trump's attack comes at a time when Germany, Europe's biggest economy, spends little on defense and has a woefully unprepared and inoperable military. Trump and Merkel later held businesslike talks on the sidelines of the summit. Allies would be increasing spending by $33 billion or more, he added.

He noted that he had met with Trump the evening before and they discussed increasing the USA troop presence in Poland.

President Donald Trump's chief of staff, John Kelly, shifted in his seat and despondently looked away as Trump called Germany a "captive" of Russian Federation.

He went on to say he doesn't anticipate allied leaders coming out to put Trump in his place because they don't want to undercut the alliance.

He continued that attack Thursday, complaining that, "Germany just started paying Russian Federation, the country they want protection from, Billions of Dollars for their Energy needs coming out of a new pipeline from Russian Federation".

The meeting brought together Mr Trump and Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau, who irritated the United States president at the G7 by declaring that his country would not be pushed around. But that wasn't all that Trump hit allies about.

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