Officials said Trump has shown signs of frustration over the lack of progress since he unveiled a strategy last August that committed to an open-ended deployment of USA military advisers, trainers and special forces and increased air support for Afghan security forces.
Earlier Thursday, Trump called out U.S. allies on Twitter as he attended a second day of meetings with leaders of the military alliance.
"It's really extraordinary that Donald Trump has to be the person to point out that the emperor in Europe has no clothes", he said.
In a series of tweets from Brussels, Trump said "Presidents have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get Germany and other rich NATO Nations to pay more toward their protection from Russian Federation".
As the drama unfolded, a day after Trump launched a virulent public attack on German policy, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg cleared the room of many officials and the invited leaders of non-members Georgia and Afghanistan so that the other 28 leaders could hold a closed session with the president.
He continued: "Nato is much stronger than it was two days ago".
When asked about that, Trump said he believed he could do that without Congressional approval but it was "not necessary".
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"I think it's very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia, where you're supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia", Trump told Stoltenberg earlier Wednesday. "Sometimes, if I didn't know better I might say that we purposefully trying to destabilize the Western alliance and to turn the world upside-down".
"For decades the United States has been footing the bill for the safety and security of the European continent, all while many of our allies all across the Atlantic failed to live up to their commitments", said Sean.
According to diplomats, he plunged the summit into chaos on Thursday by saying that the USA would "go it alone", if European states failed to boost their spending to at least 2% by January. "Failure to do so would be a serious indictment of his stewardship of American leadership in the world". "I'm very strong on immigration".
"NATO is as vital today as it ever has been and our commitment to it remains steadfast", May said Tuesday, according to Reuters. The current commitment is to reach two percent by 2024 but with get-out terms that would allow some to stretch it out to 2030.
Under fire for his warm embrace of Russia's Vladimir Putin, Trump on Wednesday also turned a harsh spotlight on Germany's own ties to Russian Federation, alleging that a natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel's government "totally controlled" and "captive" to Russian Federation.
"And frankly maybe everyone is going to have a good relationship with Russian Federation".
Trump has been more conciliatory behind the scenes, including at a leaders' dinner Wednesday.