Ever since he announced his presidential campaign, President Donald Trump has applied pressure on NATO members to increase their defense spending.

It’s now happening. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the organization heard Trump “loud and clear.”

Stoltenberg made the remarks when he appeared on Fox News Sunday:

“President Trump has been very clear,” Stoltenberg told fill-in host John Roberts. “He is committed to NATO. He stated that clearly just a few days ago and also at the NATO summit in July. But at the same time, he has clearly stated that NATO allies need to invest more. And therefore at the summit in July last year, we agreed to do more to step up — and now we see the results.”

In all, Stoltenberg continued, “by the end of next year, NATO allies will add hundred – 100 billion extra U.S. dollars toward defense. So we see some real money and some real results. And we see that the clear message from President Donald Trump is having an impact.”

Stoltenberg, while acknowledging that Trump was putting an unusual amount of pressure on NATO, said the harsh tactics were needed given Russia’s extraordinary aggression.

“What he’s doing is to help us adapt the alliance, which we need because we live in a more unpredictable world with a more assertive Russia using violence and force against a neighbor, Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said. “And therefore NATO has to adapt.”

Stoltenberg warned that Russia “has shown no sign of respecting a major Cold War-era missile treaty and that the future of the pact is in danger as the U.S. readies to start pulling out of it this week.”

A recent New York Times article claimed that Trump had been toying with the idea of removing the US from NATO. The White House called the report “meaningless” and showed off Trump’s past statements that showed he has a “‘strong’ commitment to NATO.”

Stoltenberg added, “I’m happy with the fact that he has helped us to now move on the question of burden-sharing within the alliance. And this is important for European allies for a strong nato, it’s good for Europe, but it’s also good for (the) United States.”


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