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Trump Claims Victory at NATO Summit; Members Disagree

Thursday, July 12, 2018 21:57
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(From The Guardian)

Donald Trump has claimed victory at the NATO summit, saying progress had been made on defense spending only hours after throwing the Brussels meeting into disarray with fresh attacks on European allies.

Asked whether he had threatened to pull out of NATO, the US president did not directly deny it. He told a surprise press conference before he was scheduled to leave that he only told people he would be “extremely unhappy” if spending was not increased.

Trump claimed he could pull the US out of NATO without the approval of Congress. “I think I probably can but that’s unnecessary,” he said.

He said the alliance members had agreed to reach spending 2% of GDP on defense faster than previously planned and claimed financial commitments would increase beyond that in future.

But other delegations and NATO officials contradicted Trump, saying he had secured no significant concessions and their defense spending plans remained basically the same as they had been before the summit.

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