US president calls out NATO countries for not meeting spending pledges

President Trump exported the confrontational, nationalist rhetoric of his campaign across the Atlantic on Thursday, with an attempt to shame European leaders for not footing more of the bill for their own defenses and lecturing them to stop taking advantage of USA taxpayers.

"I won't forget what you said", Trump told Pope Francis at the end of their roughly 30-minute private meeting Wednesday, in the Vatican, in Rome, the second stop of the presidential trip.

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that joining the US -led anti-ISIL coalition "will send a strong political message of NATO's commitment to the fight against terrorism and also improve our coordination within the coalition". I am deeply ashamed that we elected this ignorant child to be president.

Russia, the subject of so much controversy for Trump at home, also shadowed his European tour. He's retracted his vow to label China a currency manipulator and has lavished praise on Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Ms Merkel, who stood emotionless during the speech, earlier issued her own challenge to the USA president, saying that member states including Germany had already pledged to work toward the 2 per cent target by 2024 and that outlays on security more generally also count toward the goal.

Standing before a large piece of wreckage from the World Trade Center that will serve as a memorial at the headquarters, he vowed to "never forsake the friends that stood by our side" after the Sept 11, 2001, attacks, a pledge White House officials called an affirmation of mutual defence.

In almost 70 years of existence, Article 5 has only been invoked once - September 11, 2001 - and was the catalyst for NATO's involvement in the war in Afghanistan that followed. I really think it was some kind of veiled threat to his European allies and what I think is most disturbing is that he not only repeated the need to fulfil the commitment to give 2 percent of GDP towards defence, but he repeated some of the outrageous comments he has made about European allies owing money to the United States. An anti-terror coordinator may also be named.

Praise was always going to be in short supply after Trump's sharp election campaign criticism of the alliance, which he blamed for not doing more to combat terrorism.

US President Donald Trump yesterday met his European counterparts during his first visit to Europe since he took office.

Earlier in the day, Mr Trump, a critic of the European Union during his campaign, received a chilly reception from European counterparts in Brussels.

But Trump is set to face pressure from British Prime Minister Theresa May over leaks to the U.S. media of details of the probe into the Manchester attack. There was the inauguration ceremony for the massive new North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters building.

"It (the Manchester bombing) was a barbaric and vicious attack upon our civilisation". In a written statement, Trump called the alleged leaks "deeply troubling" and said he was asking the Justice Department and other agencies to review the matter. A spokesperson for the USA president wasn't immediately available for comment for when contacted by CNBC. (Cohn later said the administration was not planning to lower sanctions and might even toughen them.) After meeting with Trump, Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council and a harsh critic of Vladimir Putin, said he wasn't "100% sure" that he and Trump had a common opinion about Russian Federation. He said unity must be found around values like freedom and human rights and dignity. Leaders of the G7 meet Friday and Saturday, including newcomers Emmanuel Macron of France and Theresa May of Britain in an effort to forge a new dynamic after a year of global political turmoil amid a rise in nationalism. As the press watched, the two men exchanged a very firm handshake during their meeting, both men gripping tight, their faces showing the strain.

  • Leroy Wright