"NATO is not a stock exchange where you can buy security". According to Stoltenberg, eight countries would meet the 2 percent target this year and a "majority" put forward plans to do so by 2020 - compared to only three countries who were meeting the commitment in 2014.
"Many countries in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which we are expected to defend, are not only short of their current commitment of 2% (which is low), but are also delinquent for many years in payments that have not been made", he tweeted while his plane was in the air. "The President set American back this morning".
Trump began his trip here by scolding allies over breakfast Wednesday with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
"We are doing numbers like they've never done before or ever seen before", Trump said. "It's very inappropriate. It certainly doesn't seem to make sense that they paid billions of dollars to Russian Federation, and now we have to defend them against Russian Federation".
Trump's comments that Germany risks being "totally controlled by Russia" as a result of the construction of a pipeline under the Baltic Sea touched on an existing cause of division among European countries. "Stop denying it. I know you interfered in the election, '" Clark began, describing a hypothetical scenario.
"We have a very, very good relationship with the chancellor. So I think that's inappropriate also", Trump claimed.
"We're having a great meeting".
On both matters, Republican senators said they agreed with Trump's message.
Germany now spends 1.24% of its GDP on defense, and has committed to hitting 2% by 2024, something that Trump, and other United States leaders before him, have tried to hasten.
Germany, Europe's richest country, spends just 1.24% on defense, and it's an unpopular topic there.
Stoltenberg acknowledged that Trump had expressed himself in "very direct language" but insisted that away from the fiery rhetoric the allies all agree on fundamental issues: the need to boost NATO's resilience, fight terror and share the cost of defence more equally.
Republican senators who recently returned from Moscow have some advice for President Donald Trump ahead of his meeting Monday in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin: Be prepared, be careful and try not to be alone.
Trump's demand jolted the transatlantic alliance at the conclusion of this week's Brussels summit and, in the words of one diplomat briefed on the events, sent "everyone into a tailspin".
The Post reports that the Munich-based news outlet Süddeutsche Zeitung, one of Germany's largest news organizations, ran a story about the president's slams against Germany with the headline: "It is not only bad, it is catastrophic". We have a fundamental disagreements on principles and objectives between Trump and the Europeans.