Trump Tweets NATO ‘Strong & Rich’ Hours Before Putin Meeting

U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at Helsinki International Airport on July 15, 2018 in Helsinki, Finland. President Trump arrived in Helsinki for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump said in a recent statement that he has ' low expectations' for the meeting, however he is under increasing pressure to …
Chris McGrath/Getty
Washington, DC

President Donald Trump heralded the strength of NATO and support from allies on Monday morning ahead of his meeting in Helsinki, Finland, with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Received many calls from leaders of NATO countries thanking me for helping to bring them together and to get them focused on financial obligations, both present & future,” Trump wrote early Monday morning.

“We had a truly great Summit that was inaccurately covered by much of the media. NATO is now strong & rich!” he continued.

At last week’s NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium, President Trump pushed harder than before for NATO partners to increase they defense spending and meet a previously agreed upon two percent of GDP threshold. 

Trump made known at an initial breakfast meeting  with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg his questions over the security conflict posed by the Nord Stream II gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. He pointed out the volumes of money Germany has paid to Russia for the pipeline, the former German chancellor working for the pipeline company, and that it makes Germany more energy reliant on Russia while NATO allies spend a great deal to defend against Russia.

Trump and Putin began their one-on-one meeting slightly behind schedule on Monday. After their private meeting their aides will join for an extended working lunch. The U.S. and Russian presidents are scheduled to then hold a joint press conference before concluding their time together in Finland.

Michelle Moons is a White House Correspondent for Breitbart News — follow on Twitter @MichelleDiana and Facebook