Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Donald Trump again says he’s a ‘very stable genius’ at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

Donald Trump again says he’s a ‘very stable genius’ at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

However, the U.S. president's next destination is London, where he will meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May and other officials. The US is paying for Europe's protection, then loses billions on Trade.

And not long after, French President Emmanuel Macron said no-one had agreed to any figure higher than what was in the leaders' communique - 2 per cent by 2024 - a leaders' statement that Donald Trump had signed the day before.

In a series of tweets at the time, Trump said that "throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart".

Russian Federation is keen to press ahead with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline since it has the potential to double its gas exports under the Baltic Sea to Germany, bypassing traditional routes through Ukraine with which it has poor relations.

At the end of the first day, Trump unsettled allies even more by questioning the value of the military alliance, which was formed to counter Soviet aggression during the Cold War.

Impolitic? Perhaps. But is Trump wrong? While much of what he says enrages Western elites, does not much of it need saying?

Germany spends 1.2 percent of its gross domestic product on defense, while the USA spends 3.5 percent. Why?

Trump has long ranted against U.S. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, and again accused them this week of not paying their fair share in defense spending.

Brussels may dismiss this as typical Trumpian bluster, but my sense is that Trump is not bluffing. He is visibly losing patience. On the other side, twenty-seven European allies.

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Allied NATO defense spending has actually increased on average 3.1 percent since 2014. Spending %4 of GDP on defense represents wartime levels of investment. "During the summit, we agreed on our program for the next two years", Le Drian added.

We get hit both ways.

The sit-down will mark Putin's first interview with Wallace since September 2005 and his first interview with US media since June 2017. Of the alliance, he said it was "very unified, very strong, no problem".

And, a reminder, that for all the insults thrown and the agreements threatened over the past few years, seldom has Mr Putin caught the ire of Mr Trump.

Trump insisted that he would bring up key subjects including Syria, although he once again failed to rule out recognising Russia's annexation of Crimea.

And he appears earnest about reducing our massive trade deficits in goods that have been bleeding jobs, plants, equipment, capital and technology overseas.

German Chancellor Merkel hit back immediately, not only denying Trump's contention but suggesting that his comfortable upbringing in the US gave him no standing to spout off on the world stage about Germany.

Asked about pressures on countries with weaker finances, he said, "We have many wealthy countries with us today but we have some that aren't so wealthy and they did ask me if they could buy the military equipment, and could I help them out, and we will help them out a little bit", he told a news conference. "I think 4 percent is the right number".

Trump's trip to Britain will test the bonds of the U.S. and U.K.'s special relationship. "It confirms the goal of 2 percent by 2024". Now he is demanding that the Europeans contribute more to defense.

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