Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Trump describes Putin as ‘competitor’ ahead of Helsinki summit

People walk outside the entrance of the new NATO headquarters in Brussels People walk outside the entrance of the new NATO headquarters in Brussels
Kenny Thornton | 10 July, 2018, 22:46

Yet, even leaving America aside, there is pressing business at the summit about North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries' fitness to fight.

"NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS. This is not fair, nor is it acceptable", Trump wrote in a July 9 tweet.

Dear President Trump: America does not have, and will not have a better ally than Europe. And maybe we'll speak to him when I get over there.

At the same time, he declared that "Putin is fine" and that he had been preparing for their summit "all my life".

It was a startling gambit for Trump to risk offending his host by showering Johnson with praise while May faces threats of a revolt - even a no-confidence vote - by her own Conservative party over how she is handling Brexit.

Asked whether Mrs May should be replaced as prime minister, the USA president replied: "Well that's up to the people".

Tusk urged the Europeans to increase spending as they have promised, but said: "Dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don't have all that many".

In Brussels, the USA ambassador to NATO, Kay Bailey Hutchison, defended the summit meeting - and unlike Trump criticized a series of Russian actions she called 'malign'.

France v Belgium: key head-to-head battles to look out for
Antoine Griezmann , whose bagged three goals at this tournament, joins Lukaku, Mbappe and Hazard in a ultra-attacking formation. There is then the midfield contest between Pogba and Kevin De Bruyne , who plays for United's city rivals Manchester City.

Mr Trump has repeatedly expressed his anger some European countries, the United Kingdom excepted, do not spend at least two per cent of GDP on defence. Not fair to the USA taxpayer.

This seems fair. By contrast Mr Trump wrongly sees the United States being disadvantaged, not advantaged, by the current global order. He has pulled the USA out of the Paris climate agreement as well as the Iran nuclear deal, slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, and threatened additional tariffs on products like automobiles.

As he left the White House to travel to Europe on Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump had more harsh words for the multi-country military alliance that was has been a punching bag throughout his campaign and into his presidency.

In between, he will be in Britain, with a black tie dinner hosted by May on Thursday and a working visit with the prime minister on Friday.

"I really can't say right now", Trump said. "Not fair to the USA taxpayer", Trump said.

But Sir Kim Darroch, UK ambassador to the USA, said the president will be "an honoured guest, representing a partnership that is greater and deeper than any other in history". And, the prospect of a less-than-committed USA has thrown some of Europe's military weaknesses into plain view.

She focused on the claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation during the 2016 elections. So we'll see. We're meeting with Vladimir Putin on Monday. But plans for a full-fledged summit had been delayed amid the Federal Bureau of Investigation and congressional probes into whether Trump campaign aides coordinated with Russian Federation to help Trump win the election.

Speaking about his European trip, Trump said his sitdown with Putin might be "easiest" of all the meetings.

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