Nobody needs North Atlantic Treaty Organisation more than France, says Trump


"You could make the case that they've been delinquent for 25-30 years", Trump said, after talks with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. 'I think that is very insulting towards a lot of different forces, ' he added.

French President Emmanuel Macron recently lamented that a lack of USA leadership was causing the "brain death" of the alliance.

What started as a pre-planned five-minute press briefing on Tuesday morning with the NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at the USA ambassador's residence in London became a 52-minute question and answer session.

"The message to we need to move forward on these response plans and it can't be held up by their own particular concerns", U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper earlier told Reuters as he flew to London. US President Donald Trump arrived in London keen to see evidence of European countries boosting their military spending, after repeatedly lambasting them for what he considers freeloading on America for their defence. "It's a very risky statement for them to make".

Relations between the U.S. and France are particularly strained this week after The U.S. Trade Representative proposed introducing tariffs on $2.4 billion in goods in retaliation for a French tax on global tech giants including Google, Amazon and Facebook.

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But with Johnson leading polls as he faces Dec 12 elections, the prime minister who is hosting the London Nato summit wants Trump to mind the guardrails, putting Trump in the unusual position of being asked to avoid his normal impulse to comment on whatever he wishes.

U.S. President Donald Trump said a trade agreement with China might have to wait until after the U.S. presidential election in November 2020, denting hopes of a quick resolution to the dispute which has weighed on the world economy.

"It's not right to be taken advantage of on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and also then to be taken advantage of on trade, and that's what happens. We'll see what happens".

Their very public argument bodes ill for the summit, which is being hosted by the British prime minister, Boris Johnson.

Formal Nato events will begin with a reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by the Queen on Tuesday evening.