Trump says North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to get 'stronger' as members step up payments

Incoming French president Emmanuel Macron speaks after his victory in presidential runoff at his campaign headquarters in Paris Sunday

Incoming French president Emmanuel Macron speaks after his victory in presidential runoff at his campaign headquarters in Paris Sunday

By his scolding, Trump was directly delivering to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies the criticism that was a staple of his nationalist campaign for president.

The 28 member nations, plus soon-to-join Montenegro, will renew an old vow to move toward spending 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense by 2024.

The president had been under heavy global pressure during the trip to affirm the United States' commitment under the Paris agreement to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and other pollutants believed to be warming the earth to harmful levels.

Leaders of seven wealthy democracies have reached a deal to give the Trump administration more time to tell them whether the United States plans to stay in the Paris climate agreement.

All seven leaders signed a measure to put pressure on internet and media sites to do more in stopping the spread of "hateful ideology", and all agreed the threat from ISIS "is evolving rather than disappearing", stepping behind Britain in the wake of the Manchester terrorist attack. Anxious about Trump's tendency to make things worse for himself with unscripted remarks, the White House staff has kept the president a safe distance from journalists for most of the trip.

"And not paying in those past years", Trump said in Brussels. The other members have committed to the goal by 2024. He'll be returning to Washington, D.C. late Saturday. Kushner's lawyer said he will cooperate with investigators. Meanwhile, the search for a new Federal Bureau of Investigation director continues.

Details of exactly how this "outside in" approach would work are TBD but if it succeeds it would be a real foreign policy triumph for Trump. The GOP health care bill that passed the House faces uncertain prospects in the Senate, after a Congressional Budget Office analysis that it would leave 23 million more Americans uninsured by 2026. And some are starting to question the chances for Trump's pledge to overhaul the USA tax code.

But in Europe, Trump has faced a far cooler reception and has been eager to go on the offensive. He's been willing to risk disapproval, engaging in an extraordinary scolding of close allies over their responsibility to pay for mutual defense.

Some of Trump's counterparts are prioritizing climate here, well aware that pulling the United States out of the Paris agreement has been the subject of considerable debate within Trump's administration, dividing the nationalists and globalists who battle to have the president's ear. Cohn would not commit to a timetable for a decision.

Trump took part in the ceremonial spectacle of the summit, this time at a picturesque Sicilian town above the Mediterranean Sea.

Trump, who during his presidential campaign once called climate change a "hoax", made the announcement on Twitter ahead of the other nations pledging their commitment to the deal at the G-7 Summit in Taormina, Italy. But he also held one-on-one meetings with the leaders of Japan, the United Kingdom and Germany. Cohn stressed Friday that the president was simply being critical of the USA trade deal with Germany.

The day will feature a welcoming ceremony and concert at the remains of an ancient Greek temple, as well as a relentless number of meetings, many of which White House aides are hoping to keep short in order to keep Trump's attention.

Trump also told his counterparts that he has won environmental awards in the past, Cohn said.

Trade will also be a big topic, with Cohn saying the United States' guiding principle will be "we will treat you the way you treat us", suggesting that retaliatory tariffs could be imposed.

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