Trump says North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members agreed to meet spending commitments

John Kerry has a lot of thoughts on Donald Trump's combative NATO comments

On a trip that will also take Trump to Britain and to Helsinki to meet Russia's Vladimir Putin, the president spent the first day of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit lambasting allies for failing to spend the targeted 2 percent of GDP on defense and accused Germany of being a prisoner to Russian energy.

The United States and Canada swung sharply on Sunday (10 June) toward a diplomatic and trade crisis as top White House advisers lashed out at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a day after US President Trump called him "very dishonest and weak".

But back in Washington, Trump's handling of the US' NATO allies was not going down well.

She said that Trump raised the topic of better burden-sharing and more spending by Germany, "as has been discussed for months", and that, "we made clear that we're on the way".

Trump did not specify which countries had committed to what, and it remained unclear whether any had changed their plans. They also agreed in 2014 to each raise their defence spending to 2 per cent of their GDP by 2024.

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Funding has averaged about $1 billion annually and Stoltenberg has said he expected that level to be met.

U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel pose for a photograph prior to a bilateral meeting on the eve of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany, Thursday, July 6, 2017. He said the allies had confirmed their intention to meet the goal of 2 per cent by 2024 and no more.

Trump had made similar comments ahead of his visit and has always been critical of the transatlantic alliance, prompting concerns that President Trump will undermine it, CNN reported.

There had been concern that President Trump might leave the alliance.

Trump's comments came amid reports that he had warned leaders at an emergency session that the United States could pull out of the alliance if other members failed to increase their contributions.

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Praising new initiatives to build capacity, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg estimated that as much as 266 billion additional USA dollars would be spent by European allies and Canada on defense by 2024.

Under fire for his warm embrace of Russia's Vladimir Putin, Trump on Wednesday also turned a harsh spotlight on Germany's own ties to Russian Federation, alleging that a natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel's government "totally controlled" and "captive" to Russian Federation.

"Not acceptable!" he railed before a day of events that will include meetings with the leaders of Azerbaijan, Romania, Ukraine and Georgia before he heads to his next stop: the United Kingdom.

Trump took his war of words with America's allies to a new level Wednesday, telling NATO's top official that Germany is "captive" to Russian Federation due to a recent energy deal.

"Everyone in the room thanked me", he said. Trump dismissively referred to it as the media's "favorite question" and suggested he couldn't do much besides ask it. "All I can do is say "Did you?' and 'Don't do it again" - but he may deny it".

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"I think it's fair to say that here in my office the team recognized what was coming and the importance of speaking out on it from my perspective and from the district's perspective", Curtis told Fox 13.

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