Donald Trump wrapped up his whirlwind NATO summit appearance with a thrown together news conference on Thursday. During that news conference, in typical Trump fashion, the president made many false claims and exaggerations.
The president chose to ditch an emergency session of NATO’s top body in order to pat himself on the back in front of the international press. He assured the world that he would not remove the United States from NATO because he is now “very happy” with the alliance after he says member countries agreed to increase their own nations’ defense spending.
The president said, “Yesterday, I let them know that I was extremely unhappy with what was happening and they have substantially upped their commitment. And now we’re very happy, and we have a very, very powerful, very, very strong NATO. Much stronger than it was two days ago.”
The president admitted that he was “very firm” with world leaders, threatening that the United States would leave the alliance if he did not get his way. He said, “Today and yesterday, I was probably a little bit more firm. But I believe in NATO. I think NATO’s a very important, probably the greatest ever done, but the United States was paying for anywhere from 70-90 percent of it, depending on the way you calculate, that’s not fair to the United States.”
He continued by mixing trade talks with the NATO alliance, two topics that have historically been kept distinctly separate. He said, “Now you could say they’re different, but basically, to a larger extent, they’re the same countries. So I think we’re ultimately gonna be treated fairly on trade, we’ll see what happens. But I can tell you that NATO now is really a fine-tuned machine, people are paying money that they never paid before. They’re happy to do it.”
When asked if he would leave the summit and take to Twitter to undo what was done during the meetings, a reference to his tweet leaving the joint communique after the G7 summit, the president said, “No, that’s other people that do that. I don’t. I’m very consistent.” He added, “I’m a very stable genius.”
At French President Emmanuel Macron’s press conference, Macron said that NATO allies reaffirmed their promise to spend 2% of their respective nations’ GDP on defense by 2024. That is not a change from an agreement previously reached. Macron’s statement seemed to undercut the president’s assertion that he got countries to increase their defense spending.
Reporter: Will you be tweeting differently once you board Air Force One?
Trump: No, that's other people that do that. I don't. I'm very consistent. I'm a very stable genius. pic.twitter.com/lWaKUjfI92
— Dave Brown (@dave_brown24) July 12, 2018