"We will go to much higher than 2 percent into the future", the president said.
The US president described himself as a "very stable genius" for securing agreements for extra cash after years of the burden falling on America. But now, according to media reports, Trump has threatened to withdraw the US from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ) or to change its pivotal role in the alliance, over the matter. Tensions rose on the final day of the two-day summit, when members met in an emergency session amid demands from Trump to speed up defense spending.
"I made clear that we know that we have to do more and that we have been doing so for quite a while", said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
"Germany is a captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia", Trump said, taking particular aim at the proposed Nord Stream II gas pipeline, which he has previously criticised. Then, in a closed-door session with allies, he suggested that even spending the agreed-upon 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense wasn't enough.
Although administration officials point to the long-standing alliance between the United States and the United Kingdom, Trump's itinerary will largely keep him out of central London, where significant protests are expected. Former NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow said on paper the summit was a success because of binding commitments to present a plan for increased defense spending and the development of the long-awaited Southern Strategy.
Instead, a series of events - a black-tie dinner with business leaders, a meeting with May and an audience with Queen Elizabeth - will happen outside the bustling city, where Mayor Sadiq Khan has been in a verbal battle with Trump.
Trump had kicked off the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit at breakfast with the organization's leader on Wednesday by accusing Germany of being "totally controlled" and "captive to Russia" because of a pipeline deal that would bring gas directly between the two nations. It was also reported that Trump asked Macron privately to leave the World Trade Organization.
"We are being played for fools", he reportedly told leaders at a meeting meant to revolve around Georgia and Ukraine.
"I let them know that I was extremely unhappy", he said to reporters. He said it could lead to "something very productive - and maybe it's not".
He also renewed a demand that they even double that - though many question what they could usefully spend it on. "I hope you have no doubt this is an investment in our security, which can not be said with confidence about Russian & Chinese spending".
FORDHAM: I don't think from speaking to diplomats there that people thought it was likely, but just the suggestion that it might be possible did definitely make people nervous.
At the same breakfast (and on several other occasions later in the day), Trump blasted German Chancellor Angela Merkel for an energy deal her country has with Russian Federation, saying they are "totally controlled by Russian Federation", and a "captive" of the country.
At the press conference on Thursday, a Croatian reporter dared ask if Trump would change his mind once he leaves Brussels for London.
"They are coming over on July 25 to see me and hopefully we can work something out".
The second day of the defence pact meeting was disrupted and repeatedly rescheduled, as Trump's insistence on renegotiating his allies' defence budgets took precedence over issues such as Ukraine and Georgia's vulnerability to Russian Federation.