President Donald Trump told NATO members Thursday to pay their fair share so the alliance can assist in fighting terrorism and help with the immigration crisis around the world.
Now Trump says the money is staring to “pour in” as many NATO countries have agreed to step up payments. He took to Twitter early Saturday morning during his stay in Italy to make this announcement.
Many NATO countries have agreed to step up payments considerably, as they should. Money is beginning to pour in- NATO will be much stronger.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2017
“Many NATO countries have agreed to step up payments considerably, as they should,” the president said, adding that NATO would be “much stronger” from the increased financial support.
At Thursday’s meeting in Brussels, Trump emphasized the need for member countries to “finally contribute their fair share.” He was also critical of European leaders for promoting open-borders policies that have allowed Islamists to seep into their nations and wreak havoc.
“You have thousands and thousands of people pouring into our various countries, and spreading throughout, and in many cases we have no idea who they are,” he said. “The NATO of the future must include a great focus on terrorism and immigration, as well as threats from Russia on our NATO’s eastern and southern borders.”
Trump has been critical of NATO in the past, but this was the first time had spoke to the alliance in person to express his concerns.
NATO’s members have agreed to spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on defense spending by 2024. But according to NATO, only five countries of the 28 have reached that percentage thus far — the United States, United Kingdom, Greece, Estonia and Poland.
Trump called this “chronic underpaying” and pointed out the United States spends more on defense than all other NATO countries combined.
During his speech he referenced last week’s terror attack in Manchester, England, as a reason why NATO must do more to fight Islamic extremism.
“The recent attack on Manchester in the United Kingdom demonstrates the depths of the evil we face with terrorism,” the president said.
While Trump says money from fellow NATO members has started to arrive, there has not been any formal announcement regarding which counties the money is coming from.