Tusk's EU riposte to Trump: Respect the allies you have

Tusk's EU riposte to Trump: Respect the allies you have

Trump says that his meeting with Putin will be the easiest meeting of his European tour.

The president knocked North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members again in a tweet Tuesday before leaving for the two-day summit in Brussels.

Mr Trump, who landed in Belgium during the middle of the football-mad nation's World Cup semi-final match, will later head to London, where Prime Minister Theresa May's government is in turmoil over her plans for exiting the European Union.

The tension with Trump looks all the more stark in the context of a summit that will take important decisions to boost Nato's ability to defend itself from the threat it sees from Russian Federation.

Cory Gardner (R-CO) was asked to respond to controversial comments President Trump made earlier in the day about his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He defended former UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, who he called a friend, and said he planned on speaking with him during the visit.

Before he left Andrews Air Force Base, President Trump reiterated his demand for the USA to pay less and other members of the Western military alliance to pay more, and he linked the issue to the EU's trade surplus with the US.

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

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He said that of the high-stakes meetings of his trip, "Putin may be the easiest of them all". 'I'm confident the UK-US alliance will play a leading role in advancing our shared values of democracy and freedom, ' he said.

Trump's victory in the 2016 presidential election shocked British diplomats in Washington and relations between May and Trump have been strained at times.

"Dear President Trump: America does not have, and will not have a better ally than Europe", said Tusk.

He vowed not to be "taken advantage" of by the European Union, which he accuses of freeloading by relying on the United States for its defense while blocking USA imports into the bloc, the world's biggest market. The U.S.is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them. "On top of this the European Union has a Trade Surplus of US$151 Million with the USA, with big Trade Barriers on USA goods. NO!" They say he ignored top-level talks between European Union envoys and US trade and State Department officials this year to avoid metal tariffs and keep Washington in the Iran deal.

In this context, Tusk and others seem concerned Putin will take advantage of the fact that Trump is not standing by key USA allies.

Prior U.S. administrations have pressed Europe to invest more in its defense, but the matter has typically been handled by other officials in the government, said Ted Bromund, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

Some diplomats fear the president will threaten to pull troops out of Europe without more spending on defense, despite USA denials.

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