Trump dubs himself 'stable genius' for getting North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to pay up

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In 2017, the alliance saw its biggest increase in defense spending "in a generation", he said, signaling to his aggrieved ally in the White House that "we see that all Allies have started to increase defense spending based on the national plans we have agreed to develop a year ago".

"I don't know why people would believe them when they say their description of the meeting". He said it was "a little tough for a little while" and that he had told the Europeans he would be "very unhappy" if they did not up their spending "substantially".

In a series of tweets from Brussels, Trump said "Presidents have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get Germany and other rich NATO Nations to pay more toward their protection from Russian Federation".

Earlier Thursday, Trump called out US allies on Twitter, saying, "Presidents have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get Germany and other rich NATO Nations to pay more toward their protection from Russian Federation".

"Germany is a captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia", Trump said, taking particular aim at the proposed Nord Stream II gas pipeline, which he has previously criticised.

Asked about Trump's criticisms of Germany, Macron said that Paris and Berlin had a "joint destiny" and that Berlin was an "indispensable partner" for France.

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The crackdown includes the closing of Gaza's lone commercial crossing, at Kerem Shalom, for an indefinite period of time. Translation: If Hamas continues in this direction, these decisions will continue and will intensify.

Others say Congressional approval would be required - and would be unlikely to be forthcoming.

"The US were not treated fairly but now we are".

Several diplomats and officials said, however, that his undiplomatic intervention - including pointing at other leaders and addressing Merkel as "you, Angela" - had irritated many. The president replied, "I think I probably can, but that's unnecessary".

"We had a very intense summit", Merkel told reporters after the session. It has created a new sense of urgency. She let it be known that she didn't need any lessons from Donald Trump on how to deal with authoritarian regimes considering she grew up in East Germany, back when it was under the influence of the Soviet Union.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (center L) shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump during a NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium, July 11, 2018.

Under NATO rules, countries with territorial conflicts can not join the Western alliance and neither country is expected to progress in membership talks.

Trump attending second day of meetings at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
We're protecting all of these countries. "Putin is emboldened pretty much with or without Trump". Merkel's characterization of the relations was slightly less rosy than Trump's.

Trump told leaders he wanted them all to hit that target by January, prompting consternation.

"They have pledged to spend more", Smith concluded, "they are not freeloaders".

Janning argued that Trump's stark overstatements, either on trade, or defense spending, or on Russian Federation, might play well with voters supporting the fringes of the German political spectrum, but not with Merkel's own CDU voters - even the more conservative ones.

"He's a competitor", the president said. "I made clear that we are on this path".

Woody Johnson, the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, dismissed the significance of the protests, telling Fox News that one of the reasons the two countries are so close "is because we have the freedoms that we've all fought for". "It confirms the goal of 2 percent by 2024". A source close to Macron said Trump had voiced his "personal attachment" to Europe and gave "rather positive and constructive messages" to his allies.

Germany, Europe's biggest economy, spends just 1.24 per cent, compared with 3.5 per cent for the US.

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"Germany is the second largest provider of troops, the largest part of our military capacity is offered to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and until today we have a strong engagement towards Afghanistan", Merkel said, adding: "In that we also defend the interests of the United States". "I mean, I think they like me a lot in the United Kingdom, I think they agree with me on immigration".

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