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Trump Walks Back NATO Threats, Takes 'Total Credit' For Spending Boost

Trump Walks Back NATO Threats, Takes 'Total Credit' For Spending Boost

Mr Trump stated his commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, speaking after reports that he had warned leaders that the U.S. could pull out of the alliance if other members failed to increase their contributions.

Democrats pounced on special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's indictment of a dozen Russian military officers for their efforts to interfere in the 2016 USA election, with some saying Monday's Donald Trump-Vladimir Putin summit should be canceled. They're happy to do it.

Some in Congress are calling on President Donald Trump to cancel his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin following a Friday indictment resulting from the Russia investigation.

Reversing the harsh criticisms he has leveled at NATO, President Trump says the alliance is very strong - in part because of promises from America's allies to boost their military budgets to 2 percent of their gross domestic product. Putin has denied meddling in the election when Trump raised it before.

"I think it's fine", Trump said when asked about the protests.

TRUMP: "Everyone's agreed to substantially up their commitment". I don't. I'm very consistent.

At NATO, Trump did not specify which countries had committed to what, and it remained unclear whether any had changed their plans. That would mark a significant milestone for the alliance. Trump said that this goal should be met by January.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro will lead a high-level team attending the Farnborough Airshow outside London next week to advocate on behalf of U.S. aerospace and defence companies. The current commitment is to reach two percent by 2024 but with get-out terms that would allow some to stretch it out to 2030.

And while all member nations have agreed, in principle, to work toward the 2 percent spending goal, each country is ultimately beholden to unique political processes and must consult with their respective parliaments to secure increased military spending.

Still, Trump has been more conciliatory behind the scenes, including at a leaders' dinner Wednesday. Officials said no explicit threat was made.

Macron told reporters that the communique signed by members "is clear - it reaffirms a commitment to 2 percent in 2024".

US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said in Brussels that he did not hear any of the European Union countries viewing Nord Stream 2 positively, the report said.

But he said that since past year around an additional 33 billion dollars, not including the United States, had been raised and it was now "unnecessary" to withdraw from the organisation.

He earlier infuriated Chancellor Angela Merkel by claiming Germany had been left "captive" and was "totally controlled" by Moscow because of a gas pipeline deal with Russian Federation.

He continued the attack, 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". He also said the other leaders had thanked him for raising the issue of how to support NATO's operations.

U.S. President Donald Trump, flanked by national security adviser John Bolton, speaks to the media Thursday at a news conference on the second day of the 2018 NATO Summit in Brussels.

One media report cited North Atlantic Treaty Organisation officials saying Stoltenberg called an emergency session of alliance leaders after Trump demanded they all lift defence spending to 4 per cent of GDP - even more than the United States spends - or face the US' disengagement from the pact.

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