President Donald Trump told NATO leaders on Thursday that the terrorist attack in Manchester was "savage" and "barbaric" and done by "losers." Speaking in Brussels, Trump also admonished NATO members who are not contributing their "fair share" to the alliance.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: This ceremony is a day for both remembrance and resolve.
We remember and mourn those nearly 3,000 innocent people who were brutally murdered by terrorists on September 11th, 2001. Our NATO allies responded swiftly and decisively, invoking for the first time in its history the Article V collective defense commitments.
The recent attack on Manchester and the United Kingdom demonstrates the depths of the evil we face with terrorism. Innocent little girls and so many others were horribly murdered and badly injured while attending a concert. Beautiful lives with so much great potential, torn from their families forever and ever.
It was a barbaric and vicious attack upon our civilization.
All people who cherish life must unite in finding, exposing and removing these killers and extremists. And yes, losers. They are losers.
Wherever they exist in our societies, we must drive them out and never ever let them back in. This call for driving out terrorism is a message I took to a historic gathering of Arab and Muslim leaders across the region, hosted by Saudi Arabia. There, I spent much time with King Salman, a wise man who wants to see things get much better rapidly.
The leaders of the Middle East have agreed at this unprecedented meeting to stop funding the radical ideology that leads to this horrible terrorism all over the globe. My travels and meetings have given me renewed hope that nations of many faiths can unite to defeat terrorism, a common threat to all of humanity.
Terrorism must be stopped in its tracks, or the horror you saw in Manchester and so many other places will continue forever. You have thousands and thousands of people pouring into our various countries and spreading throughout. And in many cases, we have no idea who they are. We must be tough. We must be strong. And we must be vigilant.
The NATO of the future must include a great focus on terrorism and immigration, as well as threats from Russia and on NATO's eastern and southern borders. These grave security concerns are the same reason that I have been very, very direct with Secretary Stoltenberg and members of the alliance in saying that NATO members must finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations.
But 23 of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they are supposed to be paying for their defense. This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States and many of these nations owe massive amounts of money from past years, and not paying in those past years.
Over the last eight years, the United States spent more on defense than all other NATO countries combined. If all NATO members had spent just 2 percent of their GDP on defense last year, we would have had another $119 billion for our collective defense and for the financing of additional NATO reserves.
We should recognize that with these chronic underpayments and growing threats, even 2 percent of GDP is insufficient to close the gaps in modernizing, readiness and the size of forces. We have to make up for the many years lost. Two percent is the bare minimum for confronting today's very real and very vicious threats.
If NATO countries made their full and complete contributions, then NATO would be even stronger than it is today, especially from the threat of terrorism. I want to extend my appreciation to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York for contributing this remnant of the north tower, as well as to Chancellor Merkel and the German people for donating this portion of the Berlin Wall.