U.S. President Donald Trump took advantage of his first summit meeting with NATO leaders to chastise other countries for not being “fair to the taxpayers of the United States.”
The President, who had been invited to dedicate a memorial to the September 11 terror attacks on the United States, told the gathered heads of state that “23 of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they are supposed to be paying.”
President Trump said the European countries owe “massive amounts” from prior years.
European leaders responded to the speech with polite applause.
The American President’s speech included a moment of silence for victims of Monday’s explosion following a pop concert in Manchester, England. “May all the nations here grieve with you and stand with you,” said Trump, addressing UK prime minister Theresa May.
The President did not mention the prime minister’s earlier comments about confidential British intelligence that appeared in U.S. media after being shared with American intelligence agencies.
Previously on Thursday, Trump denounced the leaks and called upon the Department of Justice to launch an investigation. “The leaks of sensitive information pose a grave threat to our national security,” he said. “I am asking the Department of Justice and other relevant agencies to launch a complete review of this matter, and if appropriate, the culprit should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The President added, “There is no relationship we cherish more than the Special Relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.”
|Image Source: Gage Skidmore (Flickr)|