Trump claims a phantom victory in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spending war

Charlene Craig
July 14, 2018

The head of the Democratic National Committee on Friday joined calls for President Trump to cancel a scheduled meeting with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin following the indictment of 12 Russians for hacking.

Asked at a press conference in Brussels if he would confront the Russian leader at their Monday head-to-head about interfering in the 2016 election or other Russian acts created to destabilize the US government or weaken alliances between the USA and its Western allies, Trump demurred.

One media report cited North Atlantic Treaty Organisation officials saying Stoltenberg called an emergency session of alliance leaders after Trump demanded they all lift defence spending to 4 per cent of GDP - even more than the USA spends - or face the US' disengagement from the pact.

Trump had explicitly linked North Atlantic Treaty Organisation with a transatlantic trade row by saying the European Union shut out US business while expecting America to defend it, singling out Germany for particular criticism.

So, to what new funding commitment is the president referring?

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The charges are part of the ongoing special counsel probe into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says that Russian intelligence agents stole information on 500,000 USA voters after hacking a state US election board. "Glad-handing with Vladimir Putin on the heels of these indictments would be an insult to our democracy".

He also said meeting the queen would be an experience Trump "will really cherish".

Other Democratic members of Congress, including Rep. Adam Schiff and Sen.

The fresh indictments related to special counsel Robert Mueller's probe come amid Trump's United Kingdom visit, and just hours after he once again called the investigation a "witch hunt".

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The indictment also does not allege that any vote tallies were altered by hacking.

In the latest example of his penchant for creating conflict to draw attention to his agenda, he first demanded an emergency meeting to address his grievances and then called a news conference to claim "total credit" for having pressed North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members into increasing their military budgets "like they never have before".

"The US were not treated fairly, but now we are".

The White House quickly tried to use the indictment to further its claims that the president's 2016 campaign did not conspire with Russians. "He is representing Russian Federation, I am representing the United States", he added.

Under fire for his warm embrace of Russia's Vladimir Putin, Trump on Wednesday also turned a harsh spotlight on Germany's own ties to Russian Federation, alleging that a natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel's government "totally controlled" and "captive" to Russian Federation.

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Weighing in on the matter during Jake Tapper's CNN show, the panel expressed their concerns about the planned meeting, including Trump's ability to be a worthy negotiator against the current Russian president and former KGB agent. I don't think. But you never know what happens. The Mueller probe was launched in early 2017, but it's been plagued by a fierce political fight over his legitimacy.

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