- The Washington Times
Friday, July 13, 2018

The Pentagon launched a “damage control” campaign after President Trump’s departure from NATO, NBC News reported on Friday.

Defense leaders called European military allies to assure them of the U.S. commitment to NATO and their defense agreements, multiple anonymous diplomatic and military officials told NBC News.

Mr. Trump, “made it clear alliance commitments were on the table,” a U.S. official said, so the Pentagon wanted to reinforce its commitments.

Another senior U.S. administration official gave similar comments, saying Mr. Trump was “aggressive” in meetings with other leaders and did threaten a “reassessment” of U.S. commitments if foreign defense budgets did not increase.

The president kept up his tough rhetoric throughout the summit, starting with criticizing Germany’s deal with Russia over oil.

However, by the end of the summit, Mr. Trumptold reporters that he secured commitments for an additional $33 billion in spending. He said it would be “unnecessary” to leave NATO.

“Now people are going to start — and countries are going to start — upping their commitments. And now we’re very happy and have a very, very powerful, very, very strong NATO — much stronger than it was two days ago,” he said at a press briefing.

Other NATO members have denied the president’s claims and insisted that they are only committed to the original 2 percent contribution agreement.

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