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Trump gears up for assembly with “competitor” Putin after rocky NATO summit

BRUSSELS — After main allies to consider that the U.S. may abandon its dedication to the North Atlantic Treaty Group, President Trump reversed course at an impromptu press convention. However he reiterated his demand that U.S. allies spend extra on protection.

“Previous to final yr, the place I attended my final assembly it was taking place, the sum of money being spent by nations was taking place and down very considerably,” he stated.

Allied NATO protection spending has truly elevated on common three.1 % since 2014. NATO nations have accelerated future spending pledges underneath Mr. Trump’s persistent stress, with a objective of reaching 2 % of GDP by 2024. 5 of 29 NATO nations at present hit that mark.

“We’ll go to a lot increased than 2 % into the longer term,” the president stated.

Although French President Emmanuel Macron stated there was no deal to boost spending above that threshold, now or sooner or later.  

The president was additionally requested if NATO allies expressed concern about his upcoming assembly with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“They really thanked me for assembly with President Putin,” he stated.

The president additionally described Putin as his “competitor.”

“He is been very good to me the instances I’ve met him. I have been good to him. He is a competitor. Any person was saying, is he an enemy? He isn’t my enemy,” he stated.

The president stated he would increase the problem of Russian meddling within the U.S. election.

“He might deny it. It is a type of issues. All I can say is, did you? And do not do it once more. However he might deny.”

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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