Trump arrives in Brussels ahead of potentially contentious North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

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Many U.S. presidents have urged European governments to spend more on their militaries.

"I really can't say right now", Trump told the press, choosing his own definition instead.

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

"Getting ready to leave for Europe". "Europe far more than it does the US. Not fair to the US taxpayer", he posted on his Twitter account.

Before he left Andrews Air Force Base, President Trump reiterated his demand for the U.S. 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.

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Speaking about his upcoming meetings on his European tour, including his first summit with the Russian president on July 16 in Helsinki, Trump told reporters "frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all".

"I'd like to hear someone say that's a bad idea". "As far as I'm concerned, he's a competitor", Trump responded. "I get along with her very well, have a very good relationship, that's certainly up to the people not up to me". During this scrum, Trump said that the meeting with the Russian president "may be the easiest of them all". He has often railed against the US's key allies, accusing fueling trade deficits with the US. Imports totaled $592 billion, leading to a $92 billion goods and services trade deficit with the European Union, according to the trade office's data.

European Union President Donald Tusk on Tuesday delivered a strongly worded statement directed at President Donald Trump amid his ongoing criticism of NATO: "Appreciate your allies".

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

He added: "NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS". In 2017, the U.S.is estimated to have spent more than 68% of the cumulative total.

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'When NATO has a Russian Federation council with the Ambassador from Russian Federation, we talk about the concerns that we have about Ukraine, the concerns that we have about Crimea, ' she said.

"In the months ahead, we will step up our cooperation on military mobility, which is essential to our deterrence and defense".

Defense spending among the 29 nations belonging to the transatlantic military alliance increased to an estimated 2.42% of gross domestic product (GDP), up from 2.4% in 2016, the organization said earlier this year.

The remarks came after a Tuesday morning Twitter storm in which he repeated his frequent charge that Europe was taking advantage of the United States. Poland's spending, however, was at 1.99% of GDP.

Trump's weeklong trip to Europe will continue with a stop in Scotland before ending with a sit-down in Helsinki with Putin, whose country the USA intelligence community has concluded interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump win.

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