President Trump NATO Summit News Conference CSPAN July 12, 2018 10:46am-11:23am EDT
>> thank you very much, everybody. appreciate t we have had a very amazing -- appreciate it. we have had a very amazing period in brussels. we really accomplished a lot with respect to nato. presidents have been coming and talking about the expense, tremendous expense. everybody has agreed to up their commitment. they are going to up it at levels they never thought of before. prior to last year where i attended my first meeting, it was going down the amount of money being spent by countries was going down and substantially. now it's going up very substantially and commitments were made. only five of 29 countries were making their commitment.
that's now changed. the commitment was going 2%. ultimately that will go up quite a bit higher than that. we made a tremendous amount of progress today. it's been about at a minimum, they estimate, they are going to give you exact numbers, but since last year they have raised an additional $33 billion that's been put up by the various countries. not including the united states. and the united states commitment to nato is very strong. remains very strong. but primarily because everyone, the spirit they have, the amount of money they are willing to spend, the additional money they will be putting up has been really amazing to see the level of spirit in that room is incredible. and i hope that we're going to be able to get along with russia. i think that we probably will be able to. the people in the room think so. they nevertheless, they really
stepped up their commitment, and stepped it up like they never have before. we took in an additional 33. the number could be higher than 40 when they give you the final number. the secretary-general will be giving those numbers sometime today, probably in his concluding press statement. we're doing numbers like they have never done before or ever seen before. and you'll be seeing that. i guess you'll be hearing that a little later. we have our secretary of state, as you know. and we have john is here. if you have any questions for the three of us, mike pompeo just got back from a trip, as you know, to north korea. he's become a true expert on the trips to north korea. best way to get there. best way to get out. he gets along very well and done a great job over there. es, ma'am.
president trump: i told people i would be very unhappy if they didn't up their commitments very substantially. because the united states has been paying a tremendous amount. probably 90% of the costs of nato. now people are going to start, and countries are going to start upping their commitments. i let them know yesterday, i was surprised you didn't pick it up, it took until today, yesterday i let them know i was extremely unhappy with what was happening. and they have substantially upped their commitment. now we're very happy and have a very, very powerful, very, very strong nato. much stronger than it was two days ago. es, ma'am. you are very famous on elevision.
referee: do you think your rhetoric helped nato believe or -- rob rt he -- reporter: there are a lot of people who said they were worried by what you did yesterday. president trump: they were probably worried because the united states was not being treated fairly but now we're because the commitment has been upped so much. now they are -- i was very firm yesterday. you have to understand i know a lot of the people in the room. i was here last year. i let them know last year in a less firm manner but pretty firm and they raised an additional $33 billion. i think going to $40 billion. it's 33 as of today. and then today and yesterday i was probably a little bit more firm. i believe in nato. i think nato is very important, probably the greatest ever done. but the united states was paying for a reverend 70% to 90% of it. that's not fair to the united states. in addition to that as you know we're in negotiations with the
e.u. and we'll meet with them next week. we have been treated very unfairly on trade. our farmers have been shut out of the european union. you can say they are different, to a large extent they are the same contrifments i think we're going to be ultimately treated fairly on trade. we'll see what happens. i can tell you that nato is really a fine-tuned machine. people are paying money that they never paid before. they are happy to do it. and the united states is being treated much more fairly. reporter: did you win any concessions in your meeting and discussions with the german chancellor when it comes to german defense spending, and also this issue of purchasing energy from russia? secondly, what would you say to your critics that say by creating this scene here at nato you are only enabling president putin in russia to further disturb things in ukraine and georgia. president trump: if you consider putting up tremendously additional funds at a level that nobody's ever seen before, i
don't think that's helping russia. i think that nato is much stronger now than it was two days ago. i think nato was not doing what they were supposed to be doing a. lot of the countries. we were doing much more than we should have been doing. frankly, we were carrying too much of a burden. that's why we call it burden sharing. i was using the term a lot today. burden sharing. we had a fantastic meeting at the end. 29 countries. they are putting up a lot. germany has increased very substantially their time period. and germany's coming along. and we still have to figure out what's going on with the pipeline, because the pipe line is coming in from russia. we're going to have to figure that out. i brought it up. nobody brought itp up but me -- brought it up but me and we're talking about it now. and i think the world is talking about it now maybe more than anything else, but we'll figure that out. frankly, maybe everybody's going to have a good relationship with
russia so there will be a lot less problem with the pipeline. to me that was a very major point of contention. we discussed it at length today. germany has agreed to do a lot better than they were doing. we're happy with that. we had a very good relationship with angela merkel. robert: margaret from bloomberg. president trump: after all these years i know, margaret. reporter: maybe i'm being dense here could you just clarify. are you still threatening to potentially pull the united states out of nato for any reason? do you believe you can do that without congress' explicit support and approval? president trump: i think i probably can, but that's unnecessary. the people have stepped up today like they never stepped up before. and remember the word, $33 billion more they are paying. you'll hear that from the secretary-general in a little while e thanked me. he actually thanked me.
everybody in the room thanked me. there is a great collegial spirit in that room that i don't think they have had in many years. they are very strong. very unified, very strong, no problem. reporter: no. president trump: no problem. reporter: you said previously you wanted the countries to step up their spending to 2%. yesterday the suggestion was 4% or perhaps 2% in a quicker timetable. can you clarify, what did they commit to doing? is that satisfactory to you? president trump: what they are doing is spending at a much faster clip. they are going up to the 2% level. you have to understand, some have parliaments, they have their own congresses, a lot of things they have to go through. they are here as the prime minister, as a president and they can't necessarily go in and say this is what we're going to do. but they are going back for approvals. some are at 2%. others have agreed to go to 2%. some are going back to get the
approval. which they will get to go to 2%. after 2%, we'll start talking about going higher. i said ultimately we should be in years in advance we should be at 4%. i think 4% is the right number. the united states, depending on the way you calculate it, was at 4.2%. i said that's unfair. and we have the largest g.d.p. by far, especially since we have increased it by so much since the thing called the election. our g.d.p. has gone way up. so the fact that our g.d.p. went way up, that means we're paying for even more, which is very unfair. i explained that. we will go to much higher than 2% into the future. right now we're getting people up to 2%. that will take place over a fairly short period of time. a short number of years. hi.rter: it croatian newspaper. we understand your message. president trump: congratulations, by the way, on
soccer. reporter: we understand your message. but some people ask themselves will you be treating differently once the board air force one. thank you. president trump: that's other people that do that. i don't. i'm very consistent. 'm a very stable genius. reporter: quick question with regards to germany and the comments you made yesterday. do you feel like given the threats you made about potentially leaving nato, about insulting germany's sovereignty it appears by suggesting they are totally controlled by russia, do you feel that's an effective way to conduct diplomacy? secondly, would you be able to be more specific about the commitments that you secured today with regards to increase ing commitment, is there an updated timeline. specific countries you can cite. the majority of them are already planning to meet that threshold by 2024. president trump: many of them, germany was going to be in the year 2028 or 2030.
i think it's a very effective way to deal. but i didn't deal exactly the way you said. i have great respect for germany. my father's from germany. both of my parents are from the e.u. despite the fact they don't treat us well on trade. i think that will change also. and i think we'll see that because on the 25th of july they are coming in to start negotiations with me. we'll see. if they don't negotiate in good faith, we'll do something having to do with all of the millions of cars that are coming into our country and being taxed at a virtually zero level, very low level. but, jere m i think it's been an effective way of negotiating. i'm not negotiating. i want fairness to the united states. we're paying for far too much of nato. nato is very important. but nato is helping europe more than it's helping us. at the same time it's very good for us. so we have now got it to a point where people are paying a lot more money.
starting really last year, it really had -- you were there last year. and last year we had a big impact. again, we took in $33 billion more. and u.n. secretary-general gives us total credit. meaning me, i guess, in this case. total credit, because i said it was unfair. what has happened is presidents over many years, from ronald reagan to barack obama, they came in, they said, ok, do the best you k they left. nobody did anything about it. and it got to a point where the united states was paying for 90% of nato. and that's not fair. so it's changed. we had a really good meeting today. we had a great meeting in terms of getting along. i know most of the people in the room because of last year, because of the year and a half that we have been in office. year and a half-plus. we have a great relationship. everybody in that room by the time we left got along and they agreed to pay more and they
agreed to pay it more quickly. reporter: thank you, mr. president. philip rucker from "the washington post." you tweeted yesterday what good is nato, and you talked about nato as an alliance that benefits europe. that defends and protects europe. do you see any value of nato to the united states, vis-a-vis russia? does it help protect the united states from russia in your view? president trump: i think it's another president trump: it's another strong ally. i think it's much -- i think nato got -- you know what was happening with strength prior to my getting into office. the numbers were going down. now the numbers have gone up like a rocket ship. the numbers have gone up a lot and they have gone up rapidly and now they're going up further. i think nato will be very effective. the ery impressed with and secretary general has done a fantastic job in putting it all together and we were the ones
that really -- we gave him an extension of his contract, as you know. i think he's done a good job. i am very concerned with the pipeline. i don't like the pipeline. when i talked about nato, i said, how do you have nato and paying people you're proteching against? maybe we'll get along with the group we're protecting against. i think that's a real possibility. as you know i'm meeting with president putin on monday and i think we go into that meeting not looking for so much. we want to find out about syria. we will, of course, ask your favorite question about meddling. i will be asking that question again. we'll also be talking about other things. we'll be talking about ukraine. ukraine was here today, by the way. and, you know, it's very interesting to hear what they had to say. excuse me? well, he may. look, he may. what am i going to do? he may deny it. it's one of those things. all i can do is say, did you,
and don't do it again, but he may deny. you'll be the first to know. ok. yes. go ahead. reporter: robert wahl with "the wall street journal." and canadians and others don't come up to 2%, what's your fallback position, how will you up the pressure to make them actually -- president trump: well, they will. they will. i have no doubt about it. they made commitments and it will be up to 2%. it will be over a relatively short period of years. reporter: thank you so much. mr. president, what do you think today -- [inaudible] i want to ask about -- president trump: georgia, they were here today representing. reporter: we will tall about georgia in the meeting with president putin. president trump: well, they were here. they made a favorable impression. we listened to their plight. it's a tough situation with
georgia. but they made a very favorable impression in the room. ok. go ahead. go ahead. yeah, you really did. come on. reporter: i had a question as well but nonetheless i'll ask. will you recognize -- president trump: go ahead. reporter: will you recognize russia's annex? will you recognize crimea as part of russia? president trump: that's an interesting question. long before i got here president obama allowed that to happen. that was on his watch, not on my watch. people like to say, oh, crimea, but the fact is they built bridges to crimea. they just opened a big bridge that was started years ago. they built i think a submarine port. substantially added billions of dollars. so that was on barack obama's watch. that was not on trump's watch. would i have allowed it to happen? no. i would not have allowed it to happen. he allowed it to happen. that's his determination. what will happen for crimea from this point on i can't tell
you. i am not happy about crimea. that was barack obama's watch, not trump's watch. yeah. go ahead. reporter: jeff mason from reuters. president trump: i know, jeff. reporter: will you be raising arms control issues? president trump: yes. reporter: would you like to extend new start and would you raise violations of the i.n.f. treaty? president trump: yes. reporter: as follow-up to the nato meeting, would you suggest to him or consider stopping military exercises in the baltic states if that's something he requests? president trump: well, perhaps we'll talk about that but i will say we will be talking about those three issues and many more. we'll be talking about that, jeff. ok. go ahead. o ahead. reporter: we are in the -- [indiscernible] i would like to know if you're planning to guarantee the taxpayers that
the new money that's flowing into nato will be spent in the est possible way, especially [indiscernible] several problem with public finances? president trump: well, the money will be spent properly. one of the things we have, we have many wealthy countries with us today but we have some that aren't so wealthy and they did ask me if they could buy the military equipment and could i help them out and we will help them out a little bit. we will not finance it for them but we'll make sure they will be able to get payments and various other things they can buy because the united states makes by far the best military equipment in the world. the best jets, the best missiles, the best guns, the best everything. we make by far. that's one thing i guess i assumed prior to taking office but i really learned since being president our equipment is so much better than anybody lse's equipment. when you look at our companies, boeing, lockheed.
the equipment we make is so far superior. everybody wants to buy our equipment. the question is, can they make it? because they are doing very well. can they make it for so many people? so we are helping some of those countries get on line and buy the best equipment. yeah. go ahead. reporter: hi. kristen brown with fox news. on your upcoming summit with president putin, did any of your allies here express any specific concerns or talk to you about any messages they'd like you to take with you when you go to the summit? president trump: yeah, just the opposite of concern. they will probably come out with a little bit of an edict. they actually thanked me for meeting with president putin. i look forward to the meeting. they thanked me. they thought it was a great thing i was doing it. they gave us our best wishes or their best wishes. now, with that being said, we'll see what happens. just a loose meeting. it's not going to be big schedule. i don't think it should take a very long period of time. and we'll see where it leads.
but it could lead to productive -- something very productive and maybe it's not. but i think meeting with people is great. we had a great meeting with chairman kim and i think mike ompeo -- just one sec. >> thank you, mr. president. so i did. i returned -- actually came straight from north korea with a couple stops here to brussels. we had a productive conversation. there remains a great deal of work to do but i think most importantly my counterpart made a commitment consistent with what president trump was able to make with chairman kim which was they spend to denuclearize. now the task is to implement it. president trump: just to finish on that, so important. that was an amazing -- really, an amazing meeting, i thought. i really think that we
established very good relationships. we'll see it where it all ends. there have been no missile tests. there has been no research. they have blown up a site. i hear they're blowing up another site, missile site. they've taken down all of the propaganda. in fact, somebody said there's no more music playing at the borterline. the music was going on for many years. they said recently that, wow, there's no more of the heavy music and the propaganda. they've done a lot of things and we got back our three hostages. so it's a good process. good process. but the main thing is, there have been no rocket launches. there have been no missile tests. there have been no nuclear tests, no explosions, nothing for more than nine months. ok. yeah, please. sure. reporter: mccaskle from the guardian. there are lots of protests planned in london and elsewhere. how do you feel about that? president trump: i think it's fine. i think they like me a lot in the u.k. i think they agree with me on
immigration. very strong on immigration. i made a point today. i said, you've got to stop. you're ruining your -- you are going to have a lot of problems. you see what's going on throughout the world with immigration. i probably at least partially won an election because of immigration. if you look at italy, giuseppe, who i got to know quite well over the last month and a half, he won his election because of strong immigration policies on italy. i think that a lot of the people in the u.k. -- i think that's why brecksity happened. now, i don't know what's going on with the negotiations. who knows. i think that's become an interesting point of contention. i said i will go to a few hot spots. we have nato. we have the u.k. and then we have putin. i said putin may be the easiest of them all. you never know. but i'm going to a pretty hot spot right now, right, with a lot of resignations. but i will say that immigration is a very important thing. and i told them today, the
e.u., the european union better be very careful because immigration is taking over europe and they better be very, very careful. i said that loud and clear. yes. go ahead. go ahead. reporter: president trump, romania. what will you tell president putin about this summit and about nato? president trump: well, i think he's going to see about this summit. this has turned out to be a very successful summit. this is i think really that nato is more put together right now, is more coordinated and i think there's a better spirit for nato right now than perhaps they ever had. it's richer than it ever was. the commitments are made at a higher level than they've ever been made. and the money to be paid out faster, far faster. you know, the 2% was a range, a goal. it wasn't something that they were committed to. now it's a commitment. there's a big difference. the 2% number. and that's why so many people weren't reaching it or hitting
it. it was sort of like this number out there. now it's a commitment. a real commitment. i think he's going to see that there's great unity, great spirit, great spree decor. i think we will have a good meeting. regardless of that it will be a good meeting. this was a fantastic two days. this was really fantastic. it all came together at the end. yes, it was a little tough for a little while. but ultimately you can ask anybody at that meeting, they're really liking what happened over the last two days. there's a great, great spirit leaving that room. yes, sir. go ahead, please. reporter: from bbc. do you think you will get along with president putin? why do you think that? is it something you admire about him? the second question -- president trump: well, he's a competitor. he's been very nice to me the times i met him. he's a competitor. somebody was saying, is he an enemy?
he's not my enemy? is he a friend? no, i don't know well him enough. the couple times i got to meet him we got along well. you saw that. i think we get along well. but ultimately he's a competitor. he's representing russia. i'm representing the united states. so in a sense we're competitors. not a question of friend or enemy. he's not my enemy. and hopefully someday, maybe he'll be a friend. it could happen. i just don't know him very well. i met him a couple of times. when i did meet him most of you people were there. reporter: on brexit, sorry. you will be going to the u.k. what will be your message on brexit? president trump: well, brexit, i have been reading about it over the last couple of days and it seems to be turning a little bit different they are getting partially involved back with the european union. i have no message. it's not for me to say. i own a lot of property there. i am going to scotland while i
wait for the meeting. i have turnberry in scotland which is a magical place. i will go there for two days while i wait for the meeting. it's not for me to say what they should be doing in the u.k. i have great friendships. my father was born in scotland. i have great friendships over there. we have a wonderful ambassador, woody johnson, and -- by the way, woody is doing a great job. but it's not for me to say. i'd like to see him be able to work it out so it can go quickly. whatever they work out. breaking s it heart -- president trump: i thought you said heartbreaking. i thought that might be going too far. is it heartbreaking? a lot of things are heartbreaking. i would say brexit is brexit. when you used the term hard
brexit, the people voted to break it up. so i would imagine that's what they'll do. but maybe they'll take it a little bit of a different route? so i don't know if that's what they voted for. i just want the people to be happy. they are great people. i do think -- i'm sure there will be protests because there are always protests. there was protests the night of the election both ways. but in the end,
we got to -- 206 electoral -- 306 electoral votes. won states -- it's interesting, one of the interesting states we won, wisconsin. i didn't know this until fairly recently, that was the one state that ronald reagan didn't win when he ran the board his second time. he didn't win wisconsin and we won wisconsin. so we had a great night. protests, there might be protests. but i believe that the people in the u.k., scotland, ireland, as you know, i have property in ireland, i have property all over, i think that those people
-- they like me a lot and they agree with me on immigration and i think that's why you have brexit in the first place is immigration. yes, go ahead. reporter: from finland. what would be the best deal with putin when you come to helsinki? do you think you're playing in the same goal -- to the same al with putin with your -- towards e.u. and nato? president trump: i can't tell you what will be the ultimate. no more nuclear weapons anywhere in the world will be the ultimate, ok. no more wars, no more problems, no more conflict. let's find a cure to every disease known to mankind or womankind. that would be my ultimate. ok. and we'll start from there. ok. yeah. go ahead. reporter: from afghan service in bbc world service. sir, i would like to ask you, mr. president, afghan president
is going to be here. president trump: he's here right now. reporter: he's here. are you going to meet him and what have you got to say with him? when will the war end in afghanistan because people are fed up now and they want to know. president trump: i agree. it's been going on for a long time. we made a lot of progress. it's been going on for a long time. we made a lot of progress in afghanistan, i will say. yes, your president is here right now. in fact, he's in the room. when i finish with this i will go back in that room. reporter: one question, please. georgian. mr. president, can you tell us what you think about future membership of georgia in nato, please? president trump: well, at a certain point they'll have a chance. not right now. they just left the room. but at a certain point they'll have a chance. go ahead. reporter: reporter. are you going to continue to support the kurdish forces, the -- in iraq? president trump: i think the kurds are great people.
they are a wonderful, warm, intelligent allies in many cases, as you know. it's different groups of people. they're great people. i believe they're great people. yes, go ahead, please. reporter: mr. president, working with german tv. you said putin isn't an enemy, isn't a friend, just a competitor. president trump: competitor. reporter: do you consider him as a security threat for europe or to the u.s.? thank you. president trump: hey, i don't want him to be and that's why i guess we have nato. and that's why we have the united states that just had the largest military budget ever. $700 billion approved. $716 billion next year. no, i hope that we'll be able to get along. i said from day one, whether it's china or russia, you know, we're working on trade with china right now. i don't say -- that's an easy situation because that's been years of abuse of the united
states by presidents, frankly, that allowed that to happen. i've taken over a lot of bad hands and i'm fixing each one of them and fixing them well. china is going to be, i think, very -- ultimately taken care of. i have great respect for their president, as you know, president xi spent two days there, among the most magical two days i ever lived. and i think we're going to end up doing something very good with china. right now we're in a pretty nasty trade battle. but i think ultimately that will work out. i really think we have a big advantage. you know, we picked up $8 trillion in value and worth since i became president. and we're close to two times the size of china. a lot of people don't know that. and, you know, we're going to negotiate a fair deal if that's possible. ok. and russia, getting along with russia i think would be a very good thing. yes. reporter: from bbc persian tv.
we've seen escalation of tension between you and the iranians. i president trump: i would say they are -- they are treating us with much more respect right now than they did in the past. and i think -- i know they are having a lot of problems and their economy is collapsing. but i will tell you this. at a certain point they are going to call me and say, let's make a deal, and we will make a deal. they're feeling a lot of pain right now. yes, go ahead. go ahead. go ahead. go ahead. reporter: mr. president, do we expect the rise of the russian influence in macedonia following the starting of negotiation process like we've seen in montenegro with the coupe? and what will you and the united states do to counter the -- president trump: we never talk about our future plans. yes, go ahead, ma'am. go ahead. reporter: thank you very much. mr. president, thank you very much. kurdistan, iraq. my question is about the
government of iraq. you know, after two months, election, the government in raq has not been formed. [indiscernible] you want to talk about syria. with president putin. can i have information about kurds in syria? president trump: i hope we get along well with iraq. we've certainly spent a great fortune in iraq. and many, many lives, thousands and hundreds of thousands of lives, if you think, on both sides, which i always think about both sides, not just our side. and they had an election. and i hope we're going to be able to get along and we'll see how that goes. we've been talking with the people that won the election. i was not in favor of that war. i was very much against that war. i never thought it was a good thing. but that's another deck of cards that i inherited. we'll do the best we can with it. i think the election was pretty
conclusive. again, we've spoken to them. we'll see what happens. yes, sir, go ahead. >> we have time for one more question. geneva.: from come from a small country in north africa. mr. president, we admire what you're doing in north africa and really wish and hope something could be done in the middle east to avoid more wars and more blood and more killings in the middle east. peace process that gives everyone its -- president trump: we're looking for peace and africa, as you know, is on a very strong list. but we're looking for peace. we want peace all over. we want to solve problems. we're looking for peace. africa right now has got problems like few people wouldn't even understand. they have things going on there that nobody could believe in this room. if you saw some of the things i see through intelligence, what's going on in africa, it
is so sad and so vicious and violent and we want peace. we want peace for africa. we want peace all over the world. that's my number one goal -- peace all over the world. we're building up a tremendous military because i really believe through strength you get -- you get peace. but we're -- we will have a military like we never had before. we've given out orders for, you know, the best fighter jets in the world, the best ships, the best everything. but hopefully we'll never have to use them. that would be a dream. to buy the best stuff, to have the best stuff, to have the best equipment in the world and to never have to use it would be a really great part of my dream. thank you very much, everybody. thank you. i'm going to be going -- leaving in about half an hour. thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> ladies and gentlemen, please remain in your seats while the delegatiep