President Donald Trump said during a news conference on Thursday that after he told NATO allies he was unhappy with their defense spending, all of them agreed to increase it.
“Everyone has agreed to substantially up their commitment. They’re going to up it at levels that they never thought of before,” the President said. “I told people that I’d be very unhappy if they didn’t up their financial commitments substantially,” he added when asked whether he was considering pulling out of the alliance.
On the summit’s first day Wednesday, President Trump attacked NATO allies, reserving his particularly harsh comments for Germany, which he accused of being “totally controlled by Russia.”
CNN writes that the President also called other allies “delinquent,” but it is unlikely that he will face vocal or widespread hostility until later today when he heads to London for his first visit to the United Kingdom as president, where mass protests have been organized.
On Thursday, Trump continued his attacks on NATO allies, signaling ahead of his arrival for Day 2 of NATO’s annual summit that he was not yet done with his attempts to pressure them to increase their defense spending.
“Presidents have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get Germany and other rich NATO Nations to pay more toward their protection from Russia. They pay only a fraction of their cost,” he tweeted early Thursday. “The U.S. pays tens of Billions of Dollars too much to subsidize Europe, and loses Big on Trade!”
He then went on to say that Germany now pays billions of dollars to Russia, which he characterized as “not acceptable.”
“All NATO Nations must meet their 2% commitment, and that must ultimately go to 4%!” he tweeted.