President Donald Trump ended his time in Brussels, Belgium, by declaring his commitment to NATO and finds it unnecessary for the US to withdraw.

NATO members held an emergency meeting on Thursday to address Trump’s concern that they’re not pulling enough of their weight when it comes to defense spending. Trump touted in an impromptu news conference before his departure that the members reached an agreement.

Trump told the media he let the other member know he is “extremely unhappy with what was happening,” but left the meeting after “they have substantially upped their commitment.”

The meeting obviously satisfied Trump because he pronounced that before America “was not being treated fairly, but now we are” and he believes in NATO.

From The Wall Street Journal:

The president said he told allies in a “firm manner” that he was “extremely unhappy with what was happening.” In response, he said NATO members had “substantially upped their commitment.” Officials for NATO countries said they hadn’t changed their military-spending plans but said they told the president they were open to discussions to increase spending in the future.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters following the emergency session that it had been a “very intense summit” with “very serious discussions.”

“The U.S. president demanded what has been discussed for months, that the burden sharing changes,” she said. “I made clear we are on this path and that this is in our interest and that it reinforces us mutually.”

Macron backed Merkel’s statements and stressed that the alliance members reaffirmed “2 percent by 2024 commitments.”

Trump insisted he wants the spending goal to be 4%, but is for now focused “on bringing allies to 2% first.” From The Washington Examiner:

“What they’re doing is spending at a much faster clip,” he said. “They’re going up to the 2 percent level.”

“After we’re at 2 percent, we’ll start talking about going higher,” he added.

“I said ultimately, we should be in years in advance, we should be at 4 percent. I think 4 percent is the right number,” Trump said, noting that the U.S. is already spending at least that much.

Rhetoric swirled around that Trump wanted to withdraw from NATO, but sources close to the meeting and Macron all said that Trump didn’t threaten to leave the 69-year-old alliance.

A member of the media asked Trump about leaving NATO. He articulated that move is “unnecessary, and the people have stepped up today like they’ve never stepped up before.”


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