John Kerry rips Trump’s 'disgraceful’ North Atlantic Treaty Organisation speech

"I think that getting along with Russian Federation, getting along with China, getting along with others is a good thing, not a bad thing", Trump said. "They got rid of their coal plants".

Trump has taken an aggressive tone during the summit, questioning the value of an alliance that has defined decades of American foreign policy, torching an ally and proposing a massive increase in European defense spending.

However, former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), who is the current US ambassador to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, told reporters in a conference call last week that Trump is committed to "NATO's strength and unity", according to the New York Times.

Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the main focus should be on all members reaching the current target of 2 percent of GDP.

Confirming the Mr Trump's comments, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said: "President Trump wants to see our allies share more of the burden and at a very minimum meet their already stated obligations". Tim Kaine, D-Va. "I'm very anxious".

He complained the United States "pays tens of Billions of Dollars too much to subsidize Europe" and demanded that members of the military alliance meet their pledge to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense, which "must ultimately go to 4%!"

"We are not prisoners, neither of Russian Federation nor of the United States", Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters. The US is paying for Europe's protection, then loses billions on Trade.

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures while speaking to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during their bilateral breakfast, Wednesday, July 11, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium.


However, Trump would "do better to lower the decibel levels in public", Burns said in a " Squawk Box " interview.

"This isn't good for the United States and there are people across the aisle - and the Senate vote yesterday clearly showed - who know it and need to say it", he said.

The summit in Brussels is shaping up as the alliance's most hard in years, against a backdrop of growing unease about the threat from Russian Federation and deepening transatlantic tensions in fields ranging from trade to energy.

Though the insult will hardly engender warmth from German chancellor Angela Merkel, who Trump is due to meet later today, German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen seemed relatively unperturbed.

Mr Trump said countries needed to "step up, not over a 10-year period, they have to step up immediately" adding that other United States presidents had raised the issue but "did not do anything about it".

"And the meeting next week in Helsinki between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will confirm that Ukraine is on the frontline of European and transatlantic politics", the president wrote.

"We are having a great meeting, discussing military expenditure". He added the US and Germany have a good relationship.

The feud over defense spending looks set to overshadow other business at the two-day summit.

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