French President Macron Immediately Slaps Down Trump's Claim He Convinced NATO Countries to Increase Defense Spending
President Donald Trump's visit to the NATO Summit was a disaster. He tried to undermine the vital group of countries allied to defend against foreign attacks, including from Russia, and repeatedly defended and praised Russia and Vladimir Putin, whom he will visit on Monday in Helsinki.
Trump's disruptions were so damaging the Secretary General of NATO called an emergency meeting, after which Trump held a press conference to try to assure the world he still supports NATO. It was met with skepticism.
The Wall Street Journal's White House correspondent summed up the past 24 hours in a tweet:
Trump arrived 30 minutes late to today’s NATO summit, missed his scheduled meetings with at least two world leaders, prompted the secretary general to call an emergency session, held an impromptu 35-minute news conference, and is now leaving for the airport go fly to London.— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) July 12, 2018
But during that impromptu – and rambling – press conference, Trump bragged that he had made NATO member countries commit to increase their defense spending, even over the standard two-percent of GDP agreement.
Trump told reporters Thursday morning in Brussels that America's commitment to NATO "remains very strong" because of "the amount of money they’re willing to spend, the additional money that they will be putting up."
And he claimed NATO countries agreed to spend over the two-percent commitment:
Trump's claim that NATO members agreed to increase spending above two-percent is apparently false.
"The Associated Press reported shortly after the press conference ended that French President Emmanuel Macron denied Trump’s claim that NATO allies have agreed to boost defense spending beyond previous targets," Politico reports.
“There is a communique that was published yesterday,” Macron said. “It’s very detailed. It confirms the goal of 2 percent by 2024. That’s all.”