Trump Muses About Future Friendship With Putin: He 'Is Not My Enemy'

Trump is flanked by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left and national security adviser John Bolton during a press

Trump is flanked by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left and national security adviser John Bolton during a press

Trump had opened the first day of talks in Brussels on Wednesday with a public diatribe against Germany, the second biggest state in the Western defense alliance, criticizing its reliance on Russian gas imports and failure to spend more on defense.

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic mounted a charm offensive at the summit, presenting Trump with a Croatian soccer jersey as giving him plenty of attention.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is billing a pre-existing plan to grow military spending by 70 per cent over the next 10 years as Canada's answer to Donald Trump's persistent demand that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies spend two per cent of their GDP on defence.

He accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel of being beholden to Moscow due to energy imports, while letting Americans pay for protecting Germany from Russian Federation.

Demonstrators say that hundreds of thousands of people are planning to take to the streets tonight and tomorrow, and are planning to float a giant balloon caricature of Trump outside Parliament.

The tough rhetoric against a core ally comes just days before Mr. Trump is set to meet one-on-one with Putin in Finland. Russian Federation has since been supporting them financially and militarily. "Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025". The figure is non-binding, and the goal was to reach it by 2024, not immediately.

"It will be over a relatively short period of years", Trump said.

"Targeting Merkel, especially her immigration strategy in the past, is exactly what he wants to attack", the diplomat said, noting that Trump's previous criticism of the German leader's immigration policy has resonated with his own political base at home.

He also said he thought spending of 4 percent on defense - similar to the United States level - would be the right level.

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"There is a communique that was published yesterday; it's very detailed", Macron said. "He generally dislikes the Alliance and Allied solidarity, the very principle of an alliance and mulitlareral frameworks", she said. "It confirms the goal of 2% by 2024".

He added: "If the EU do not offer the USA a better deal on trade, the U.S. will do something about European cars being imported at a very low tariff". "The additional money they will be putting up has been really incredible".

So many news talking heads noted Kelly's behavior, two seats away from Trump at the table, that White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders felt the need to explain.

Asked if he would change his tune and tweet something else as he headed to England aboard Air Force One, Trump said, "that's other people that do that". "I'm very consistent", he replied. "I'm a very stable genius", he joked.

So, in a stroke, he shifted attention away from his own ties to the Kremlin just days before he meets one-on-one with Putin.

In 2017, the United States spent 3.1 percent of its GDP on defense, while Estonia, Greece, Poland and the United Kingdom stand as the only countries which have crossed the two percent threshold.

Following Trump's statement, the 29 members met for a separate crisis meeting, and representatives of partner countries Ukraine and Georgia were asked to leave the room.

McCain then ticked off a series by transgressions by Putin, including the "attack" on the USA election and efforts "to undermine democratic institutions throughout the world". Two of her top government officials resigned earlier this week over negotiations on how to manage Brexit, including foreign secretary Boris Johnson, whom Trump has called a "friend".

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