UPDATED 5:50 PM PT — Saturday, November 9, 2019
NATO’s Secretary General is reportedly headed back to the White House. Chief Jens Stoltenberg is set to meet with President Trump in Washington D.C. next week.
Officials said the leaders will discuss counterterrorism efforts, protecting 5G networks, and the threat of cyber attacks – but defense spending will be on the top of their agenda.
The president has long called for NATO allies to step up and spend more.
“Only 8 of the 28 NATO countries are paying the 2 percent, meaning 20 of the countries are delinquent in the payment to NATO,” explained President Trump. “They have been for many years.”
Stoltenberg praised the president’s criticism of the nations who aren’t contributing to defense spending. He said those countries have heard President Trump’s message “loud and clear” and are now stepping up. The president has thanked the NATO chief for his efforts to boost defense spending around the world.
“I want to just thank Secretary General Stoltenberg because he is going around saying that President Trump was able to raise over $100 billion last year — which is true,” stated the president. “It’s still only a large fraction of the amount of money that’s owed by many of the countries that aren’t paying their dues.”