Trump says he is 'stable genius' after securing extra North Atlantic Treaty Organisation funding

Saturday, 14 Jul, 2018

Mr Trump said there had been "tremendous progress" and that allies were "going to up it at levels they've never seen before".

Macron said he had just agreed a 2019 budget with parliament so changing it was unrealistic - a point Trump later said he had accepted though he still expected all members to hit the 2 percent target in the next years, and then possibly double that.

John McCain on Friday praised the Justice Department's indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers and called on President Donald Trump to cancel his upcoming summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin if he is "not prepared to hold Putin accountable".

"The allies have heard his message loud and clear", Stoltenberg said.

"I let them know that I was extremely unhappy", an ebullient Trump told reporters afterwards. "I'm very consistent. I'm a very stable genius". They're happy to do it.

Widespread protests of Trump are expected during his visit to the United Kingdom, which comes during a tumultuous week for May's government as it seeks to navigate the Brexit process. The White House didn't respond to a request for further comment on whether Trump would address the indictment when he meets with Putin.

Trump brushed off the protests, saying, "I think they like me a lot in the UK". The leaders, including Trump, had signed on to a statement that highlighted agreement on a plan to improve the readiness and mobility of the armed forces across the Continent, and they agreed on tough language aimed at Moscow. I don't. I'm very consistent. That would mark a significant milestone for the alliance.

Trump delivered the line after what several sources said was an improvised rant focused on his grievances about transatlantic ties, but appeared to hesitate before issuing his ultimatum, which led to some confusion about what he really meant.

Having lambasted North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members for failing to reach a target of spending 2 percent of national income on defense, Trump told fellow leaders in Brussels he would prefer a goal of 4 percent. "It confirms the goal of 2% by 2024".

He and Martha MacCallum discussed the opposition that many Britons have over Trump's visit. Officials said no explicit threat was made.

On Thursday, Trump reiterated his criticism of NATO in a tweet, stating, " Presidents have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get Germany and other rich NATO Nations to pay more toward their protection from Russian Federation.

The second day of the defence pact meeting was disrupted and repeatedly rescheduled, as Trump's insistence on renegotiating his allies' defence budgets took precedence over issues such as Ukraine and Georgia's vulnerability to Russian Federation.

Speaking at Chequers Friday at the official country residence of the prime minister, Trump said he also would bring up Ukraine, Syria, the Middle East, and nuclear proliferation when he meets with Putin. "The US pays tens of billions of dollars too much to subsidize Europe and loses Big on Trade!" he said.

NATO leaders at the opening ceremony for the 2018 NATO Summit at NATO headquarters on July 11, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium.

The President singled out Germany for particular criticism over low spending, accusing the nation of being a "captive" of Russian Federation because of a multibillion-dollar pipeline deal.

"We think President Trump is basically right that the foundation of a successful alliance is fair contributions by all parties", he said.

Still, Trump has been more conciliatory behind the scenes, including at a leaders' dinner on Wednesday (Thursday NZT).