President Trump delivered a stern rebuke to NATO and European leaders to their faces Thursday, saying the security alliance would be fighting terrorism better if members were paying their fair share for the common defense.
“NATO would be even stronger than it is today, especially from the threat of terrorism,” Mr. Trump said at the unveiling of a new 9/11 memorial at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
A critic of the alliance during his campaign, Mr. Trump said Thursday that NATO would have $119 billion more to spend against terrorism threats and loose immigration if more of its members paid the required 2 percent of gross domestic product toward defense.
“Twenty-three of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying,” Mr. Trump said, with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and a host of European heads of state standing by his side. “This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States.”