Trump Declares Victory at NATO, Says Allies Will Spend More on Defense

NATO officials called an emergency session on Thursday after Donald Trump’s forceful calls for other member nations to increase their defense spending. One report even suggested Trump had dropped the ultimate bombshell by threatening to pull the U.S. out of the military alliance unless other countries agreed spend more on defense. The president has repeatedly voiced his fury at other countries in the alliance for not meeting NATO’s 2 percent of GDP spending target for defense, and reportedly said if they failed to reach it then the U.S. would go it alone. In an unscheduled press conference immediately following the meeting, Trump claimed victory in the spending row—saying he convinced the other NATO countries to spend a combined total of $33 billion more on defense. Shortly after his claim, French president Emmanuel Macron denied that there had been any agreement to increase spending beyond previous targets. Nonetheless, the president insisted NATO made “a tremendous amount of progress today” and that the U.S. commitment to the alliance is “very strong”, and “remains very strong.”