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.
Getting ready to leave for Europe. First meeting – NATO. The U.S. is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them. Not fair to the U.S. taxpayer. On top of that we lose $151 Billion on Trade with the European Union. Charge us big Tariffs (& Barriers)!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2018
“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.
Dear @realDonaldTrump. US doesn’t have and won’t have a better ally than EU. We spend on defense much more than Russia and as much as China. I hope you have no doubt this is an investment in our security, which cannot be said with confidence about Russian & Chinese spending 🙂
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) July 10, 2018
“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.”