President Trump scolded stunned NATO members on Thursday, saying they must “pay what they owe” to support the global alliance because “it is not fair to the taxpayers of the United States.”
“In facing our common challenges, we must also ensure that NATO members meet their financial obligations and pay what they owe. Many have not been doing that,” Trump told the assembled leaders at the organization’s new headquarters in Brussels.
“If NATO countries made their full and complete contributions then NATO would be even stronger than it is today, especially from the threat of terrorism,” he said.
During his spirited and pointed remarks, the gathered NATO leaders – including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron – gave each other sidelong glances and remained standing by in an awkward silence.