Trump: NATO money ‘beginning to pour in’ from alliance partners

President Donald Trump early Saturday tweeted that NATO countries have “agreed to step up payments” and “money is beginning to pour in” following his contentious meeting with leaders of the western alliance during his ongoing foreign trip.

“Many NATO countries have agreed to step up payments considerably, as they should. Money is beginning to pour in- NATO will be much stronger,” he tweeted.

Trump on Thursday berated US allies for not spending enough on defense, suggesting they owe “massive amounts” in back payments to the US under the umbrella of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

“Over the last eight years, the United States spent more on defense than all other NATO countries combined,” he declared as the leaders of other NATO member countries looked on uncomfortably.

However, the commitments are for NATO allies to spend more on defense overall, mainly on their own militaries – so the increases would not necessarily be seen at headquarters but in the military budgets of individual countries.

Trump in his Brussels address likewise declined to confirm the US commitment to Article 5 of the treaty, which guarantees the US would back a treaty partner in the event of a conflict with a foreign power.

Early Saturday, the president likewise tweeted: “Big G7 meetings today. Lots of very important matters under discussion. First on the list, of course, is terrorism. #G7Taormina.”

The US will be the lone holdout on endorsing the Paris accord on climate change when leaders of the G7 will issue their 2017 declaration later Saturday, officials said.

Trump had said he would give European leaders a chance to make their case for the climate change accord, but will make a final decision until returning to Washington on whether his administration will remain committed to the 2015 agreement.