The Secretary General and President Trump were joined in their talks by members of the US national security team, including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State James Mattis, General (ret) John Kelly, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff and Ambassador John Bolton, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. He today said that those that are still lagging will "be dealt with" singling Germany out.
On Thursday, Trump met in the Oval Office with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
"It is impacting allies because now all allies are increasing defense spending".
Trump listed the countries whose defence budgets meet a target of 2 percent of GDP (i.e. economic output).
Trump then interjected and asked the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secretary general, "Do you give me credit for that?"
'That really is quite a spectacular achievement, so I congratulate you, ' he said.
"You have helped to do that because your leadership has been important and it has had great impact and we see that because all allies increased and add billions to the budget". Now most countries are, ' he said.
In addition to the U.S., Poland, Romania, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Greece, and the United Kingdom are paying two percent or more of their GDP. They paid the number that they're supposed to be paying. Berlin, in particular, "has not contributed what it should be contributing and it's a very big beneficiary", he told Stoltenberg. "We have a little ways to go, but many billions of dollars of additional money has been raised".
He also said he plans to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula with members, as well as Iran's provocative behavior in the Middle East. Counterterrorism measures were also on his mind. Several other countries are close.
Relations between the United States and Germany are now marred by several issues besides defense spending. "Europe needs to take its fate into its own hands", Merkel said shortly after Trump's decision to withdraw from the landmark deal, which is universally backed in the EU.
Stoltenberg praised Trump for his pressure on the bloc's members to increase their defense spending, saying that such a policy had already "helped to make a difference".