President Donald Trump was effective in pushing members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to contribute more money toward their collective defense, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Sunday.
“Now we see the results,” Stoltenberg said during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” after mentioning how member agreed to invest more. “By the end of next year, NATO allies will add 100 billion extra U.S. dollars for defense.”
His comments came on the tail of mass criticism that the president was hurting U.S.-European relations by pressing nations on trade and NATO funding. While speaking at a NATO summit in July, Trump said member nations should double their contributions given the disproportionately higher amount that the U.S. paid.
“He has committed to NATO,” Stoltenberg said of Trump. “He has stated that clearly just a few days ago and also at the NATO summit in July. But at the same time, he has clearly stated that NATO allies need to invest more, and therefore at the summit in July last year, we agreed to do more.”
Watch Stoltenberg’s comments below:
Jens Stoltenberg on Trump staying in NATO pic.twitter.com/MacmXmUsCx
— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) January 27, 2019
Trump celebrated Stoltenberg’s comments on Twitter and claimed that “Fake News” and Democrats unfairly portrayed his diplomatic strategy.
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, just stated that because of me NATO has been able to raise far more money than ever before from its members after many years of decline. It’s called burden sharing. Also, more united. Dems & Fake News like to portray the opposite!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2019
Last year, Trump’s NATO criticism appeared to clash with congressional Republicans who passed a resolution defining the organization as “the most important and critical security link between the United States and Europe.”
What good is NATO if Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for gas and energy? Why are there only 5 out of 29 countries that have met their commitment? The U.S. is paying for Europe’s protection, then loses billions on Trade. Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2018
When Trump addressed this issue and others earlier this month, he indicated that he didn’t care whether Europeans disliked him.
“When they say I’m not popular in Europe — I shouldn’t be popular in Europe,” he told the press. “If I was popular in Europe, I wouldn’t be doing my job because I want Europe to pay.”
He specifically called out Germany, which he complained was only paying 1 percent of its gross domestic product toward NATO.