President Trump had harsh words for some NATO nations at a gathering in Belgium. The president wants Europe to spend a lot more on defense and come closer to matching what the U.S. spends.
President Donald Trump pressured allies at the NATO summit Wednesday to double the defense spending target to 4% of gross domestic product, while bashing Germany for its military spending and support for a major gas deal with Russia.
Mr. Trump’s decision to tell NATO leaders in a meeting that the 2024 spending target was too low, a White House official confirmed, came after months of attacks by the president against allies for not meeting the 2% target.
Bulgarian President Rumen Radev described a tense response among leaders to Mr. Trump’s suggestion. “Everybody asked themselves how serious Trump is about the 4%.”
Despite Mr. Trump’s comments, the leaders on Wednesday agreed to a joint summit declaration, which re-committed the 29 members to moving toward the 2% target by 2024 and welcomed progress made in raising defense spending.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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