Trump discusses Vladimir Putin meeting before North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

Donald and Melania Trump

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He repeated his complaints about being treated "unfairly" by USA allies, but said "we'll work something out".

Mr. Tusk sent the harsh message directly to Mr. Trump, denying that the USA defends Europe by itself, according to a Washington Post report.

The president's comments come as May's government has seen top advisers resign over her approach to Brexit, including Boris Johnson as foreign secretary.

Ms. Conway pushed back against Mr. Tusk's rhetoric, emphasizing the US loyalty to allies while reaffirming the president's stance on contribution shares between North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members. "There's much for us to discuss", May said, adding that defense and security as well as trade were among the topics of discussion.

According to an internal European Union memo obtained by Bloomberg and using BEA figures, when including trade in goods, trade in services and primary income from investments, the USA has a 12 billion-euro surplus with the EU.

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The U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis website says that the European Union had a trade in goods surplus with the 2017 of US$151.4 billion - not million.

The U.S. commander in chief has a familiar stick to wield: the shortfall in defense spending; or as Trump puts it, allies' refusal to "pay what they owe".

They agreed to be "guided" by "considerations" to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense by 2024.

Trump's tweet on Tuesday echoed earlier posts on Twitter on Monday and his criticism at a rally of supporters in the United States last week, in which he said that Washington was unfairly carrying nearly all the cost of defending Europe.

After Putin mentioned that White House officials were trying to interfere, a person with direct knowledge of the conversation said that Trump told to Putin, "Those are stupid people; you shouldn't listen to them, "The New York Times reported Monday".

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As he left the White House to travel to Europe on Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump had more harsh words for the multi-country military alliance that was has been a punching bag throughout his campaign and into his presidency.

Backing away from U.S. global responsibilities, shared with other countries, would require not just that Trump use the powers conferred on the presidency. Europeans must spend more on defense.

But for months, former real estate magnate Trump, eager to distance himself from both the Democratic and Republican politicians who preceded him, has been preaching a very different message.

"Dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don't have all that many", he said.

"I really can't say right now", Trump said.

Trump takes swipe at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation just days before crucial summit
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders are scheduled to meet in Brussels July 11-12. "Well, we do have a lot of allies". But Trump's claim that the US pays 90 per cent of NATO's total defense spending isn't corroborated by available data.

Trump's relationship with Putin, and his inconsistent stance on Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, is perhaps one of the most scrutinized aspects of his presidency.

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