After NATO meeting, Macron rejected Trump's claim on defense spending

French President Emmanuel Macron has rejected a claim by US President Donald Trump that NATO allies had agreed to inc...

Posted: Jul 18, 2018 10:21 PM
Updated: Jul 18, 2018 10:21 PM

French President Emmanuel Macron has rejected a claim by US President Donald Trump that NATO allies had agreed to increase defense spending "at levels that they never thought of before."

At the end of a two-day NATO summit in Brussels, Macron referred reporters to the communique released Wednesday, which recommitted members of the alliance to a 2014 pledge to spent 2% of national GDP on defense by 2024.

"The communique is clear," Macron said. "It reaffirms a commitment to 2% in 2024. That is all."

At an unscheduled press conference earlier in the day, Trump declared that all NATO members had "agreed to substantially up their commitment," a claim that is largely not in dispute.

Then he added: "They're going to up it at levels that they never thought of before."

During the course of the two-day summit, Trump has repeatedly pushed NATO allies to increase their spending on defense, at times suggesting the target should be doubled to 4% of GDP. But while there was no agreement to change the 2% target -- which many NATO countries have yet to meet -- officials said Trump had brought new urgency to the issue.

Speaking to CNN's Christiane Amanpour after the summit, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Trump's "direct" approach had "helped allies to really hear his message," especially on sharing the burden of defense spending.

Stoltenberg said Trump had instilled a "new sense of urgency" on the importance of meeting the 2% target. "His leadership, his strong message, is clearly having an impact," Stoltenberg said.

A senior NATO official told CNN Thursday that Trump's call for the target to be increased to 4% was a "throwaway remark." But it was one the President repeated several times during the final day of the summit.

Tweeting from Brussels early Thursday morning, Trump repeated his assertion that the target for defense spending among NATO allies should be much higher than the current 2%.

"Germany and other rich NATO countries... pay only a fraction of their cost," he said, mischaracterizing a country's own defense spending as payments to NATO, as he has frequently done.

"All NATO nations must meet their 2% commitment, and that must ultimately go to 4%!"

During his press conference a few hours later, Trump suggested that the higher target could well become a reality, while also characterizing the modest result of the summit -- a re-commitment to 2% -- as a significant victory.

"The commitment was at 2%," he said. "Ultimately, that'll be going up quite a bit higher than that."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refused to comment on whether Canada and others had pledged to spend more on defense, saying only his country remained committed to the 2014 target.

Echoing his French counterpart, he referred to Wednesday's declaration, "which moves us toward 2%," Trudeau said at a news conference in Brussels.

To reach Trump's 4% target, Canada would need to double military spending, something that Trudeau denied was his goal. Instead, Canada will increase spending on defense by 70% by 2028, he said.

Stoltenberg also refused to be drawn on how countries had reacted to Trump's 4% suggestion. Asked multiple times by CNN's Amanpour whether leaders had agreed to a 4% goal, he repeated: "We have a commitment to spent 2%."

This story originally published on July 12, 2018.

Huntsville
Few Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 73°
Florence
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 97° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 74°
Fayetteville
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 72°
Decatur
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 71°
Scottsboro
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 70°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 94827

Reported Deaths: 1674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson12969243
Mobile9836206
Montgomery6609148
Madison531433
Tuscaloosa419073
Unassigned356061
Baldwin350224
Shelby326035
Marshall313035
Lee266045
Morgan236918
Etowah210431
DeKalb179813
Calhoun176113
Elmore171538
Walker152064
Houston138612
Russell13582
St. Clair132817
Dallas131823
Limestone131813
Franklin127020
Cullman122012
Colbert117113
Lauderdale115717
Autauga108621
Escambia107516
Talladega100913
Jackson9684
Tallapoosa85479
Chambers84038
Dale82723
Blount7884
Chilton7886
Butler75836
Coffee7566
Covington73420
Pike7037
Clarke6629
Barbour5735
Lowndes57124
Marion57024
Marengo55315
Hale47326
Bullock46311
Winston45011
Perry4404
Bibb4265
Wilcox42610
Monroe4194
Randolph39610
Pickens3929
Conecuh38810
Washington38612
Sumter36018
Lawrence3481
Macon33414
Crenshaw3143
Choctaw28112
Cherokee2707
Henry2593
Geneva2570
Clay2525
Greene25011
Lamar2202
Fayette2045
Cleburne1261
Coosa1012
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 120585

Reported Deaths: 1215
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby22916301
Davidson20383213
Rutherford646354
Hamilton606253
Knox451338
Williamson347825
Sumner340473
Unassigned312810
Out of TN286014
Wilson226223
Bradley190312
Montgomery190213
Sevier18507
Putnam174018
Trousdale15826
Robertson153519
Hamblen138314
Blount127711
Maury12257
Washington12252
Tipton11959
Madison106417
Sullivan96214
Bedford91811
Hardeman89817
Macon85813
Lake7820
Loudon7253
Bledsoe6951
Gibson6935
Fayette6868
Dickson6792
Anderson6766
Dyer6287
Cheatham5787
Henderson5632
Jefferson5593
Lawrence5506
Obion5464
McMinn53120
Rhea5282
Coffee5223
Carter5126
Warren5074
Lauderdale4898
Greene4678
Haywood4636
Hardin4628
Roane4612
Cocke4572
Hawkins4517
Cumberland4506
Smith4454
Weakley4214
Monroe4189
Giles37813
McNairy3715
DeKalb3492
Franklin3254
Carroll2963
Marshall2903
White2815
Lincoln2801
Henry2760
Claiborne2660
Crockett2664
Johnson2650
Hickman2590
Campbell2471
Wayne2252
Marion2224
Chester2172
Polk2043
Decatur1983
Grainger1960
Overton1801
Unicoi1610
Union1540
Benton1481
Cannon1430
Jackson1241
Humphreys1203
Morgan1181
Scott1180
Grundy1132
Sequatchie1050
Meigs1040
Fentress920
Perry790
Hancock782
Clay750
Stewart740
Lewis731
Moore610
Houston570
Van Buren360
Pickett311

Community Events