Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Trump says Putin meeting 'may be the easiest of them all'

Trump says Putin meeting 'may be the easiest of them all'

Russia has been accused of meddling in the 2016 USA presidential elections, and several high-level investigations are examining the possibility of collusion between Trump's campaign and Russian officials.

Donald Trump began his Monday by demanding European countries pay more into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, as he believes the U.S. spends too much to support the group and receives little in return - a talking point the president has repeated many times since the early days of his campaign.

"We lost $151 billion a year ago on trade", the president told reporters.

The alliance invoked that concept after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the USA and deploys worldwide forces alongside US troops in Afghanistan and other parts of the world.

On the other hand, Trump is right that many countries in the worldwide security alliance come "nowhere close to their 2% commitment". "Previous presidents have complained about alliance burden sharing, it's not like he's the first one to criticize the Europeans for not doing more, but he is the first one to make it the only thing he talks about".

Although diplomats say Trump's tone concerns them, they say they continue to see impressive USA investment in Europe and would be surprised if the US dramatically decreased its commitment to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Trump tweeted on Tuesday, quickly following up that tweet with one accusing the European Union of "making it impossible for our farmers and workers and companies to do business in Europe".

Among many other facilities, Germany hosts a USA military hospital at Landstuhl, the largest American hospital outside the United States. "A competitor", the president said. -NATO meeting ahead of the summit, according to Reuters. "No one wants to look like Trump's poodle".

Last month, the USA raised fears of a trade war by slapping tariffs on steel and aluminium from the EU, Canada, Mexico and other United States allies.

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Derek Chollet, executive vice-president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a think-tank, says there is a clear connection between Trump's criticism of German defence spending and reports that the Pentagon has undertaken a review of the cost of keeping troops in Europe. "The conversation in Brussels could be strained and awkward, and then you [could] have Putin and Trump standing shoulder to shoulder and being buddy-buddy". "Europe far more than it does the U.S".

- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2018NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS.

European Council President Donald Tusk directed a message at Trump, saying "it is always worth knowing who is your strategic friend and who is your strategic problem".

Asked by whether Mrs May should continue as PM, Mr Trump said "that is up to the people". "It's much too costly for the U.S". Trump often rails against NAFTA as the worst trade deal ever signed. "We spend on defense much more than Russian Federation and as much as China", Tusk wrote.

Needless to say, "we're all fine, we're all people" is not Trump's customary approach to the question of locating the shared humanity of all God's creatures. "There may be crickets chirping when we need something". "America does not have, and will not have a better ally than Europe". "But we will work it out and all countries will be happy". "This is a very substantive and meaty summit".

In a couple of tweets on Monday, he said "NATO benefits".

When the president put tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, which affected key trade partners including European countries, he cited national security concerns as his reason.

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