President Trump admonished fellow NATO members yesterday (May 25th) for not meeting their financial commitment, charging that it makes the alliance weaker and shortchanges U.S. taxpayers. Trump, who had called NATO "obsolete" during the presidential campaign, delivered his remarks in Brussels surrounded by stone-faced leaders of the NATO nations who at times exchanged awkward looks with each other, saying, "Many of these nations owe massive amounts of money from past years." The guidelines are for NATO members to commit two percent of their gross domestic product to military spending, but only five of them met that mark last year, including the U.S. The president also notably didn't give an explicit endorsement of NATO's collective defense principle, which says that an attack on one alliance member is an attack on all of them, although White House officials said his presence at the meeting signaled his commitment to it.
Trump will be in Sicily today for a meeting of leaders from the G-7 (Group of 7) wealthy nations, the last stop on his nine-day foreign tour.