Trump at NATO Summit: "We Really Accomplished A Lot"


AP: President Donald Trump appeared to declare victory on Thursday in his battle with America's closest allies to get them to contribute more money to the NATO alliance. Mr. Trump acknowledged that he had taken a tough stance with his European counterparts, demanding they contribute more of their national budgets to defense and saying after Thursday's meetings, "they upped their commitments and I am very happy." Trump said "everybody got along" and "people agreed to pay more."

Trump declared NATO a "fine-tuned machine" as the summit came to a close. He also called United States commitment to the alliance "very strong."

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We really accomplished a lot with respect to NATO. For years presidents have been coming to these meetings and talked about the expense, the tremendous expense, for the United States, and tremendous progress has been made.

Everyone's agreed to substantially up their commitment. They're going to up it at levels that they've never thought of before.

Prior to last year where I attended my first meeting, it was going down, the amount of money being spent by countries was going down and down very substantially, and now it's going up very substantially.

And commitments were made. Only five of 29 countries were making their commitment and that's now changed.

The commitment was at 2 percent. Ultimately, that'll be going up quite a bit higher than that.

So, we are -- we made a tremendous amount of progress today. It's been about -- at a minimum they estimate, and they're going to be giving you exact numbers, but since last year they've raised an additional $33 billion that's been put up by the various countries, not including the United States.

And the United States commitment to NATO is very strong -- remains very strong, but primarily because everyone -- the spirit they have, the amount of money they're willing to spend, the additional money that they will be putting up, has been really -- really amazing to see it. To see the level of spirit in that room is incredible.

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