Trump claims a phantom victory in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spending war

French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian

The president went on to say May's negotiating tactics may have wrecked any chance of striking a trade pact with the United States. But now, according to media reports, Trump has threatened to withdraw the US from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ) or to change its pivotal role in the alliance, over the matter.

"I told people that I'd be very unhappy if they didn't up their commitments very substantially because the United States has been paying a tremendous amount".

Trump had opened the first day of talks in Brussels on Wednesday with a public diatribe against Germany, the second biggest state in the Western defence alliance, before the mood appeared to have calmed as the summit went into its second day, focusing on operations beyond Europe.

"I made clear that we know that we have to do more and that we have been doing so for quite a while", said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In his press conference, Trump even seemed to acknowledge that there was no new commitment, though he said North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members might spend "at a much faster clip" than before: "We will go to much higher than 2 percent into the future, but right now we're getting people up to 2 percent".

As the United Kingdom grapples with its own future in the European Union, I hope that President Trump's visit will help to solidify the long friendship between our two great countries.

"There is a communique that was published yesterday". And Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg basically said, look; you know, getting to 2 percent is struggle enough. Trump did still project impatience and pushed allies to increase their defense budget from the planned two percent to four percent.

He may have got his way again - but what of Donald Trump's standing among the leaders? Some of the closest USA allies were still reeling from Trump's diatribe accusing Germany of being "a captive of Russia" and insistence that "delinquent" allies increase defense spending "immediately".

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On Thursday, Trump told reporters at a press conference in Brussels that to him, Putin, was a "competitor" rather than an enemy. The officials said Trump threatened to "do his own thing".

Trump arrived about a half-hour late to a North Atlantic Council meeting with Georgia and Ukraine, two countries who have both been invaded by Russian Federation in the last decade. And I think that is what I'm mostly anxious about because we're not really putting the organization in a great place for the future because we're so focused on preserving what we have. He said it could lead to "something very productive - and maybe it's not".

"I think it is a terrible thing Germany is doing".

Most nations are reluctant to commit major portions of their GDP annually to buying these pricey USA arms, however.

Trump also sought to claim a victory in his news conference on Wednesday, defending his the hard-nose tactics he displayed at the summit, which included accusing Germany of being "totally controlled" and "a captive of Russian Federation".

Some will say that an unpredictable president such as Donald Trump is the only American leader who could achieve these outcomes - because the fear is real.

Then, in a head-snapping pivot at the end, he declared the alliance a "fine-tuned machine" that had acceded to his demands to speed up increases in military spending to relieve pressure on the USA budget.

The cold-war era military alliance has added billions to its budget since 2015, most of which has contributed to the militarization of areas around Russia's border.

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