Donald Trump told Nato leaders on Wednesday that they should increase their defence spending to 4% of GDP and clashing with German chancellor Angela Merkel over a proposed pipeline deal with Russia.
At a summit in Brussels, Mr Trump said members of the alliance should raise the target it to 4%, double of the existing Nato target of 2%, a level that is not even met by the US. The White House confirmed that Mr Trump pushed to raise the target — a point he made at the Nato summit in Warsaw a year ago.
After the announcement, Trump walked out.
Press secretary of the White House, Sarah Sanders, confirmed the 4% figure. “During the president’s remarks today at the Nato summit he suggested that countries not only meet their commitment of 2% of their GDP on defence spending, but that they increase it to 4%,” she said.
Sanders added: “President Trump wants to see our allies share more of the burden and, at a very minimum, meet their already stated obligations.”
Trump’s demand to increase spending over defence came during a meeting at which leaders discussed “burden-sharing”. The US president’s attention span is notoriously short: he tweeted during the session about soya beans and American farmers.
> Shiuly Rina