NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg admitted that thanks to pressure from President Trump, the organization is pushing members towards ending the unfair burden put on the United States. Member states are moving towards paying their fair share to boost defense spending. Stoltenberg alluded that members are beginning to pay more than they have in a generation.
“We all agree that we have to do more,” Stoltenberg said in an appearance with Trump. “I agree with you that we have to do make sure that our allies are investing more. And last year was the biggest increase in defense spending across Europe and Canada in that generation.”
“Why was that last year?” Trump asked.
“It’s also because of your leadership, because of your carried message,” Stoltenberg admitted.
“They won’t write that, but that’s OK,” Trump replied, slamming members of the press.
“No, I have said it before, but the thing is that it really has,” Stoltenberg insisted. “And your message is having an impact, and we are going to build on that to make sure that we have further increases.”
Thanks to President Trump Canada and Europe will increase their defense spending by $266 billion through 2024.
But the joint appearance wasn’t all rosy. It got testy for a bit over Russia. The Washington Examiner has the details on the awkward exchange:
“Trump also used his public appearance with Stoltenberg to complain that Germany continues to get up to 70 percent of their energy from Russia. He said that’s a “very bad thing” for NATO, and hinted it gives Russia leverage over Germany so it doesn’t contribute more to NATO.
“Stoltenberg said NATO is still a strong alliance despite Germany’s energy position with Russia, but Trump disagreed.
“‘But how can you be together when a country is getting its energy from the person you want protection against or from the group that you want protection?’ Trump asked.
“‘Because we understand that when we stand together, also in dealing with Russia, we are stronger,’ Stoltenberg said.
“‘No, you’re just making Russia richer,’ Trump shot back. ‘You’re not dealing with Russia. You’re making Russia richer.'”
One thing can be confirmed, President Trump is aggressively promoting American interests abroad.