NATO Chief Praises Trump: 'His Very Clear Message Is Having an Impact'

By Susan Jones | January 28, 2019 | 8:36am EST
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg greets President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May at the 2018 NATO Summit in Brussels on July 11, 2018. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg had good things to say about President Donald Trump, who has complained repeatedly about allies not paying their fair share for collective defense.

"So President Trump has been very clear. He is committed to NATO," Stoltenberg told "Fox News Sunday."

He's stated this clearly just a few days ago and it is also at the NATO Summit in -- in July. But at the same time, he has clearly stated that NATO allies need to invest more and therefore at the summit in July, last year, we agreed to do more to step up, and now we see the results.

By the end of next year, NATO allies will add 100 -- 100 billion extra U.S. dollars for defense. So we see some real money and some real results and we see that the clear message from President Trump is having an impact. NATO allies have heard the president loud and clear and now NATO allies are stepping up.

So this is good news, meaning that we actually see more fair burden sharing.

John Roberts, the fill-in host, noted that Trump has been "loudly criticized" in the United States for "being hostile to NATO." He pressed Stoltenberg on whether Trump's stance on NATO is a good thing or a bad thing:

 

"There is no doubt that his very clear message is having an impact," Stoltenberg said. "The message on the summit last summer was very clear with all the leaders sitting around the table. And the message was that the U.S., President Trump, he's committed to NATO, but we need fair burden sharing."

"Right, so are you happy with what he's saying?" Roberts asked again.

"I'm happy with the fact that he has helped us to now move the question of burden sharing within the alliance. And this is important for European allies, for a strong NATO. It's good for Europe. But it's also good for United States.

"We have to remember that the only time we have invoked Article V of our collective defense clause was after an attack on the United States. And hundreds of thousands of Canadian, European soldiers have fought shoulder to shoulder with U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. We have worked together with U.S. in defeating Daesh, ISIS in Iraq and Syria. So it's a great advantage for the United States to have 28 allies. Russia doesn't have that. China doesn't have that. But the U.S. has allies and friends."

Stoltenberg said Trump, in addition to getting billions more dollars from NATO members, is helping the alliance adapt to a more unpredictable world, which includes a more aggressive Russia:

"What is see is that actually NATO is united because we are able to adapt to deliver. North America and Europe are doing more together now than before. We have more U.S. troops in Europe and more exercises. So we welcome that. But we also welcome the fact that European allies are stepping up. And this is a clear message to Russia and I think they see that."

President Trump liked what he heard from Stoltenberg, tweeting on Sunday:

"Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, just stated that because of me NATO has been able to raise far more money than ever before from its members after many years of decline. It’s called burden sharing. Also, more united. Dems & Fake News like to portray the opposite!"

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