President Donald Trump on Thursday reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to NATO after days of threatening the body, taking full credit for increases in defense spending by member nations.

“We made a tremendous amount of progress today since last year,” Trump said during a surprise news conference Thursday. “They’ve raised an additional $33 billion that’s been put up by the various countries, not including the U.S. And the U.S. commitment to NATO is very strong.”

NATO countries “really stepped up their commitment and stepped it up like they never have before,” he added, saying the total spending amount could reach $40 billion and would be officially announced later in the day.

Trump said he let countries know during this week’s summit that he was “extremely unhappy.” As a result, he continued, “NATO is much stronger than it was two days ago.”

Trump’s remarks come a day after he blasted U.S. allies and NATO members, accusing Germany of being “captive to Russia” in an oil and gas deal and asking “What good is NATO?” on Twitter.

Trump has long ranted against U.S. NATO allies, and again accused them this week of not paying their fair share in 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. The U.S. pays tens of Billions of Dollars too much to subsidize Europe, and loses Big on Trade!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2018

….On top of it all, Germany just started paying Russia, the country they want protection from, Billions of Dollars for their Energy needs coming out of a new pipeline from Russia. Not acceptable! All NATO Nations must meet their 2% commitment, and that must ultimately go to 4%!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2018

Despite his rants, Trump did sign a joint declaration Wednesday reaffirming commitments between NATO members.

Later Thursday, he heads to the United Kingdom for a working visit, where he will almost entirely avoid London.

RELATED… Trump Kicks Off NATO Summit With Breakfast Rant: 'Germany Is A Captive Of Russia' Download

Source Link:
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-walks-back-nato-threats_us_5b47291ce4b022fdcc5665be

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