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National Security & Defense

Trump Trades Barbs With European Council President Ahead of NATO Summit

Flags of NATO countries fly during a ceremony at the alliance’s new headquarters in Brussels, May 25, 2018. (Christian Hartmann / Reuters)

President Trump traded barbs with European Council President Donald Tusk on the eve of Wednesday’s NATO summit in Brussels.

“The U.S. is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect [Europe.] Not fair to the U.S. taxpayer,” Trump wrote on Twitter, accusing  the European Union of having a $151 billion trade deficit with the U.S.


“US doesn’t have and won’t have a better ally than EU,” Tusk said in a message  addressed directly to the U.S. president.


“NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS. Very Unfair!” Trump hit back moments after the EC chief’s comments.

“Dear America, appreciate your allies. After all you don’t have that many,” the former Polish prime minister said as he signed a joint EU-NATO declaration with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “It is always worth knowing who is your strategic friend and who is your strategic problem.”

“Please remember this tomorrow when we meet at the NATO summit, but above all when you meet President (Vladimir) Putin in Helsinki,” he urged.

Trump said as he left the White House Tuesday morning that his first official summit with Putin “may be the easiest” of all the meetings he has planned for his week in Europe.

The president griped previously on Monday about European countries spending much less on NATO than the U.S., saying it is “not fair, nor is it acceptable.”

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