President Donald Trump once again proclaimed himself to be a “stable genius” and said “I believe in NATO” at an impromptu press conference after the NATO summit in Brussels had concluded. He spoke to international reporters in Brussels around noon local time Thursday and not only surprised the media people with his comments but also took some tough questions.
He also said that he believed the NATO summit was a great success after several days of tense meetings with the leaders of the countries from Europe and North America that make up the western alliance.
There was also an emergency session on Wednesday during which other NATO members discussed Trump’s complaints that they had not been spending enough of their federal budgets on military and defense.
After the emergency session was over, Trump boasted that he had won concessions from U.S. allies to increase their defense spending. During Thursday’s unscheduled news conference he said that all NATO members have agreed to substantially boost their spending on the military he had told them that he was “extremely unhappy.”
“Everyone has agreed to substantially up their commitment. They’re going to up it at levels that they never thought of before,” Trump said to reporters.
When asked if he had threatened the other countries with pulling the United States out of NATO, Trump said:
“I told people that I’d be very unhappy if they didn’t up their financial commitments substantially. I let them know that I was extremely unhappy with what was happening, and they have now substantially upped their commitment.”
Previously during the summit, the president had rattled American allies with insulting comments that had threatened to derail the efforts to make progress among the countries on future joint military agreements. He was especially rude and insulting to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, leader of the most powerful country in Europe.
Trump has been demanding that other members of NATO meet their previously agreed upon commitment of military expenditures of at least 2 percent of each country’s gross domestic products (GDP) by the year 2024.
While talking to reporters on Thursday took credit for putting pressure on the other countries, resulting in an aggregate increase of $40 billion in alliance-wide NATO defense spending.
“The United States was not being treated fairly, but now we are,” Trump said. “I believe in NATO.”
One foreign reporter asked Trump if his message would change once he got on Air Force One, which was a reference to tweets he had sent after the G7 talks in Canada in June. While flying back to the U.S. after the G7, Trump turned very negative in his comments about both Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron.
“That’s other people that do that,” Trump replied. “I don’t. I’m very consistent. I’m a very stable genius.”
As Trump will be meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday, it is extremely comforting to know that the United States has a very stable genius at the helm.