Trump Declares Himself 'Genius' After NATO Meeting

Trump Declares Himself 'Genius' After NATO Meeting

Wrapping up talks with fellow leaders of the 29-nation trans-Atlantic alliance, Trump reaffirmed support for NATO, but only after stirring more discord with a vague threat that the United States could go its own way if the allies resisted his demands for additional military spending, capping a summit meeting punctuated by his escalating complaints. "I made clear that we are on this path", Merkel said.

A year after fueling doubts about whether Washington would defend allies who refuse to pay their fair share, Trump launched into the two-day summit in Brussels by berating Germany, among others.

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev confirmed that Trump had made the demand and asked what it meant for the future of the alliance that has been the bedrock of European security for 70 years.

"There is a communiqué that was published yesterday".

He added: "It confirms the goal of 2 per cent by 2024".

Still, European economies have been growing recently, making the 2 percent of GDP target ever harder to achieve, and Trump's spending demand is at least in part aimed at drumming up business for the US defense industry.

Trump also slammed the Nord Stream II pipeline that is set to bring gas from Russian Federation to Germany, calling it a "horrible mistake" that would give Moscow power over Berlin.

The US leader has specifically singled out Germany for criticism over its defence spending.

The issue dominated the president's public remarks after he arrived in Brussels on Tuesday, striking fear among European officials that the president would question the US' role in the alliance.

"That is all", Macron said.

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Following an emergency session at the alliance headquarters in Brussels to discuss his demands, Mr Trump said he had made it clear that he was "extremely unhappy" with what had been on the table so far.

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte also echoed Macron and dismissed Trump's claim about a spending hike. "They are going to up it at levels they have never thought of before".

Just a few hours before he was due to leave for Britain, Mr Trump had more to say apparently - and he said it. When pressed about the specifics of the agreement reported by Trump, the secretary general simply said the allies had agreed to "redouble our efforts" with "a new sense of urgency".

The pair later met for a one-on-one meeting and while Trump insisted they had a "very very good relationship", their frosty body language suggested otherwise.

Before leaving on Thursday for a visit to the United Kingdom, Trump called USA commitment to the alliance "very strong", and referred to the two-day summit as "fantastic" characterized by "a great collegial spirit".

"The president has been consistent that he wants to see people spending more on defence in their countries and we are very pleased that we are doing exactly that".

Mr Trump fuelled a fire by appearing to criticise prime minister Theresa May's Brexit plan, after the resignation of foreign secretary Boris Johnson and her minister in charge of the European Union exit, David Davis.

Trump leaves Brussels on Thursday for some extra time with one key member of the alliance: British Prime Minister Theresa May.

But Macron disputed Trump's claims, saying that the joint statement the leaders had signed went no further than what had previously been agreed, apart from setting out how some countries plan to get there.

Earlier Thursday, he repeated his complaint that the United States carries a trade deficit with the European Union even as those countries rely on USA aid to pay for their defense.

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