President Donald Trump declared a victory for the U.S. after the conclusion of the annual NATO summit citing his success in pressing countries to spend more on national defense, during an impromptu press conference in Brussels Thursday.
“This has been a tremendously successful NATO summit. I’ve convinced the others to increase their military spending. The U.S. commitment to NATO remains strong,” Trump declared.
The president was pressed on whether he wanted to withdraw the U.S. from NATO, to which he explained that while he believed he had the unilateral authority as commander in chief to do so, that he did not feel it was necessary.
Trump: ‘This has been a tremendously successful #NATO summit. I’ve convinced the others to increase their military spending. The US commitment to NATO remains strong’ pic.twitter.com/3vvXSZPEui
— Dave Keating (@DaveKeating) July 12, 2018
Trump spent much of the summit hounding members of the alliance to increase their GDP spending on defense to at least 2 percent and eventually 4 percent. Only five out of 29 countries within the alliance currently spend more than 2 percent of their GDP on national defense despite committing to do so in 2006. NATO countries placated Trump with a declaration from the alliance that they would increase spending immediately.
The president was also pressed on whether he will change his rhetoric about NATO after boarding Air Force One, as he appeared to do after his recent summit at the G7. Trump brushed off the accusation saying only “other people” would do something like that and that he himself is a “very stable genius.”
Reporter: “We understand your message, but some people ask themselves, will you be tweeting differently once you board the Air Force One?”
Pres. Trump: “That’s other people that do that. I don’t. I’m very consistent. I’m a very stable genius.” https://t.co/KGFjLrdE0n pic.twitter.com/Uczbat5XKO
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 12, 2018