President Donald Trump spoke at the 9/11 memorial dedication at the NATO headquarters and used the opportunity to shame other NATO leaders for not contributing enough money to the alliance.
Trump opened his remarks with a moment of silence for the victims of the Manchester suicide bombing and then addressed how NATO can fight terrorism.
Echoing rhetoric he used on the campaign trail, Trump said other countries must contribute their “fair share” to NATO in order to more effectively combat threats.
“Twenty-three of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying,” Trump said. “They’re supposed to be paying for their defense. This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States.”
“If all NATO members had spent just two percent of their GDP on defense last year we would have had another $119 billion for our collective defense and for the financing of additional NATO reserves,” he continued while some leaders awkwardly looked at each other and laughed uncomfortably.
NATO members are expected to spend a minimum of two percent of their GDP on defense spending.
“If NATO countries made their full and complete contributions, then NATO would be even stronger than it is today, especially from the threat of terrorists.”