North Atlantic Treaty Organisation survives Trump, but the turmoil is leaving scars

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President Donald Trump on Friday predicted there won't be a "Perry Mason" moment when he addresses Russian election meddling during an upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

There had been concern that President Trump might leave the alliance.

Reports suggest the US President told allies that the US "could do it's own thing" unless they increased their defence budgets.

"I've taken over a lot of bad hands and I'm fixing each one of them, and I'm fixing them well", Trump said during a hastily called press conference Thursday. The leaders, including Trump, had signed on to a statement that highlighted agreement on a plan to improve the readiness and mobility of the armed forces across the Continent, and they agreed on tough language aimed at Moscow. President Trump is not expected to see the inflatable in the air.

Trump said of May's plan for a "soft Brexit" as opposed to a hard break from the European Union: "I don't know if that's what they voted for".

"That is something we certainly agree with", Trudeau told a news conference. "They're going up to the 2 per cent level".

As the drama unfolded, a day after Trump launched a virulent public attack on German policy, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg cleared the room of many officials and the invited leaders of non-members Georgia and Afghanistan so that the other 28 leaders could hold a closed session with the president.

Pledges to spend 2 percent of national income on defence by 2024 must be met by January, he said - a dizzying idea for many countries which now spend just half that.

President Trump says he will discuss Syria and nuclear proliferation with Putin. But he did not rule out recognising Rissia's annexation of Crimea.

At the same time Washington wanted to put on paper its concerns over Moscow's alleged meddling in the 2016 president election in the United States, the newspaper said, citing unnamed USA officials.

Earlier Thursday, Trump called out USA allies on Twitter, saying, "Presidents have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get Germany and other rich NATO Nations to pay more toward their protection from Russian Federation".

But by Thursday, leaders from France, Germany and Italy offered no support for Trump's claim that he had wrung new concessions out of the alliance on their military spending. "The current commitment is to reach two percent by 2024 but with get-out terms that would allow some to stretch it out to 2030". Trump tweeted on Thursday morning before the second day of talks. The new communique says 24 allies will meet the 20% guideline by 2024.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel called for "fair play" and more respect for multilateralism.

The $33 billion in additional defense spending by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members that he cited at his Brussels press conference is the exact same figure he touted at a political rally in Montana last week. "She wanted to go a different route", he told the Sun. "I don't know that is what they voted for". Trump says Germany is "totally controlled" by Russian Federation.

His unscheduled news conference offered Trump's signature touch for showmanship, but the US President came up empty when pressed to detail the new financial commitments he had secured, offering only that member countries "agreed to pay more and they agreed to pay it more quickly" and pointing to spending increases over the previous year.