President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference before departing the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium, Thursday, July 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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Trump continued his now familiar verbal attacks, saying too many U.S. presidents had failed to get Europeans to spend more on defense and that he wanted immediate results.But French President Emmanuel Macron, with whom Trump is friendly, fought back and said the allies had to stick to the previously agreed-upon 2024 target for their defense spending increases. Merkel said it was "completely impossible" to meet the commitments by January in the crisis session that Trump himself later publicly described as "tough for a while".By the end of that meeting, despite the pushback, Trump felt victorious.During a hastily convened news conference at NATO headquarters, the president declared that all was well and he believed in NATO. In fact, allies had agreed to stick to the goals that had already been set before Trump became president and which NATO officials say have much more to do with fear of Russia than of the U.S. president.
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