Trump's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation debut does little to assure allies

Montenegro Prime Minister Dusko Markovic center right after appearing to be pushed by Donald Trump

Montenegro Prime Minister Dusko Markovic center right after appearing to be pushed by Donald Trump

From Brussels, special correspondent Ryan Chilcote begins our coverage. "This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States", he added.

RYAN CHILCOTE: The president noted the bloc did, however, shell out for a new home. "I refused to do that", he said. But it is lovely.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel struck an entirely different note as she unveiled a memorial made up of a section of the Berlin Wall to mark the end of the Cold War.

On Thursday, Mr Trump brought the "America first" themes of his presidential campaign to the very heart of Europe.

US President Donald Trump was walking with NATO leaders during his visit to the organisation's headquarters on Thursday when he appeared to push aside Montenegro Prime Minister Dusko Markovic to get in front of the pack.

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President Donald Trump is not content to let other heads of state run roughshod over his authority.

After the meeting, it was clear that differences remained. European leaders were visibly unsettled, with some openly lamenting divisions with the United States on trade, climate and the best way to confront Russian Federation. And relations between the United States and the United Kingdom are tense as well, with the UK opting not to share any more intelligence with the US concerning the Manchester bombing because of leaks including the name of the bomber and images of the evidence from the scene itself. The handshake lasted six seconds, and the 39-year-old Frenchman held his own.

"My main message to President Trump was that what gives our cooperation and friendship its deepest meaning are fundamental Western values, like freedom, human rights and respect for human dignity", Tusk said. His final leg of the journey will be in Sicily, Italy, where he will join a G7 summit in Taormina. "I just saw reactions about it on social networks", he was reported saying while talking to the media.

While his stated position on the alliance's efficacy may have changed, Mr. Trump has continued to maintain, as the USA establishment has in the past, that not all North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members are pulling their weight. Maybe that will make him more disposed to his European partners as they lobby him to stay in the Paris Climate Accord. The other leaders are divided over his spending demands, as well as over how much intelligence to share with Trump's troubled administration. "This is a commitment", he said. "Many NATO countries have agreed to step up payments considerably, as they should".

The discord was palpable even in body language. This "an attack on one is an attack on all" pledge has only been invoked once in NATO's history - for the United States after the September 11 attacks.

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Does NATO see eye-to-eye on what the threats are and the priorities are today? "For example I really think that by being vague about Article 5 Trump essentially killed the nuclear deterrent that the U.S. provides for Europe".

JUDY WOODRUFF: And, finally, any sense of what the Trump administration, the Trump delegation thinks about all this?

KEITH: President Trump spoke at the dedication.

Trump's failure to commit to honoring Article 5 if a U.S. ally is attacked has come as Russian Federation has become more militarily assertive.

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