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Fact check: Donald Trump says countries owe U.S. money for NATO spending

Unleashing in-your-face rhetoric on the NATO summit, U.S. President Donald Trump pressed the falsehood Wednesday that individuals of the alliance owe cash to the U.S. and took sole credit score for upper army spending through NATO companions — a call that preceded his presidency.


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Trump additionally misrepresented Germany’s power image, saying coal and nuclear energy are long gone from the combination. Coal stays a bedrock power supply for Germany regardless of its hope to wean itself from that mineral and nuclear vegetation have a number of years of existence prior to they’re to be phased out.

Right here’s a have a look at some statements from the summit in Brussels:

TRUMP: “Frankly, many nations owe us an incredible sum of money for a few years again, the place they’re antisocial, so far as I’m involved, as a result of the USA has needed to pay for them. So when you return 10 or 20 years, you’ll simply upload all of it up. It’s huge quantities of cash is owed.” — feedback at assembly with NATO Secretary-Basic Jens Stoltenberg. In a tweet Tuesday, he stated: “Will they reimburse the U.S.?”

THE FACTS: There is not any such debt to the U.S. or to NATO. Subsequently, no delinquency or query of repayment.

He’s relating to how a lot every NATO nation spends by itself protection and urgent them to spend extra. Doing so would relieve some power on U.S. army spending. However there aren’t any IOUs to gather from previous years.


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TRUMP: “As a result of me, they’ve raised about $40 billion over the past yr.” — remarks about NATO member spending on protection at breakfast with Stoltenberg.

STOLTENBERG: “Closing yr used to be the largest build up in protection spending throughout Europe and Canada in that era.”

TRUMP: “Why used to be that ultimate yr?”

STOLTENBERG: “It’s additionally as a result of your management, as a result of your carried message.”

THE FACTS: Trump prodded Stoltenberg to present him credit score for emerging army spending through NATO individuals, the NATO leader obliged and quite a lot of officers within the alliance suppose Trump’s tricky communicate has had an impact. However the overarching transfer to extend protection spending through NATO international locations started underneath President Barack Obama.

In 2014, NATO individuals agreed to forestall reducing their army budgets and set a purpose of transferring “towards” spending 2 % in their gross home product on their very own protection through 2024. Maximum NATO individuals are spending lower than 2 %, regardless that extra are transferring in that route.


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Donald Trump pushes NATO allies to double their defence spending

However on Wednesday, Trump roiled the summit through calling on NATO individuals to greater than double their army budgets, announcing they will have to be devoting four % in their economic system to protection. That may be up from a collective 1.47 % this yr for non-U.S. NATO allies, consistent with NATO estimates. Now not even the U.S. spends four % of its GDP on protection, consistent with NATO statistics.

The alliance lists the U.S. as spending an estimated three.five % of its GDP on its army finances this yr. Trump stated “exact” U.S. army spending is four.2 % of GDP, with out explaining the large discrepancy.

WATCH: NATO Secretary Basic pressures allies on spending after Trump assembly




1531338701 890 fact check donald trump says countries owe u s money for nato spending - Fact check: Donald Trump says countries owe U.S. money for NATO spending

Stoltenberg estimated Eu allies and Canada will upload $266 billion to their army spending through 2024 and stated “that is actually including some additional momentum,” it sounds as if that means Trump’s power.

Trump has assailed NATO individuals akin to Germany for lagging on their army budgets whilst he has concurrently taken credit score for development on that entrance. He has many times claimed that as a result of his power “billions and billions of greenbacks are pouring in,” which isn’t true, as a result of there’s no such fund for cash to pour into.

German Protection Minister Ursula von der Leyen advised NPR on Wednesday that Trump makes an even level that Germany will have to spend extra however isn’t the primary U.S. president to induce that. She stated she and Obama mentioned the subject.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Donald Trump attend the opening ceremony at the 2018 NATO Summit at NATO headquarters on July 11, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. Leaders from NATO member and partner states are meeting for a two-day summit, which is being overshadowed by strong demands by U.S. President Trump for most NATO member countries to spend more on defense.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Donald Trump attend the outlet rite on the 2018 NATO Summit at NATO headquarters on July 11, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. Leaders from NATO member and spouse states are assembly for a two-day summit, which is being overshadowed through robust calls for through U.S. President Trump for many NATO member international locations to spend extra on protection.

Picture through Sean Gallup/Getty Pictures

TRUMP: “Germany is a captive of Russia as a result of they provide (power). They removed their coal vegetation. They removed their nuclear. They’re getting such a lot of the oil and fuel from Russia. I believe it’s one thing that NATO has to take a look at.”

THE FACTS: He’s flawed about coal-fired and nuclear power and overstated Germany’s reliance on Russian herbal fuel. In 2017, Germany were given greater than one-third of its power for electrical energy from coal and just about 12 % from nuclear vegetation. One-third got here from renewable power. Simplest 13 % got here from herbal fuel, with Russia as the most important provider.


READ MORE:
Trump says Germany is ‘captive to Russia’, Merkel fires back with history lesson

Trump used to be objecting to Germany’s acceptance of a brand new pipeline undertaking that may deliver extra herbal fuel from Russia.

Germany plans to retire nuclear vegetation through 2022 and intends to cut back its reliance on coal. However Germany has now not “were given rid” of both.

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TRUMP: “You already know, we’re protective Germany, we’re protective France. We’re protective everyone. And but we’re paying some huge cash to offer protection to.”

THE FACTS: There’s no query U.S. army spending constitutes smartly over a majority of the alliance’s total spending on protection. NATO recognizes an “over-reliance” at the U.S.

What NATO companions dispute is Trump’s repeated recommendation that the U.S. will get little in go back for its dedication to shield member international locations if threatened. Trump does now not recognize that NATO companions are anticipated to shield the U.S. if threatened. Article five, the collective protection portion of the North Atlantic Treaty has been invoked simply as soon as — following the assaults of Sept. 11, 2001.

Additionally, Stoltenberg argued Wednesday that the U.S. army presence in Europe, in the course of the 29-country alliance, provides it a bonus in coping with Russia and projecting energy within the Heart East and Africa.

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Related Press writers David Emerging in Berlin and Robert Burns and Zeke Miller in Washington contributed to this file.

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