President Donald Trump Saturday tweeted that NATO member states have "agreed to step up payments considerably" and that "money is beginning to pour in" after his speech on Thursday scolding the nations' leaders in Brussels.
However, reports The Hill, Trump's wording may not reflect how NATO is organized and how its funding occurs. NATO does not have a specific fund where money goes, but instead, under NATO guidelines, nations fund defense spending for their own countries, and fall under the NATO protection umbrella.
NATO's collective agreement in 2014 instructed its 28 member countries to spend at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense spending by 2024, according to Politifact.
NATO records show that just five of the countries — the United States, Greece, Estonia, Poland and the United Kingdom — are so far meeting that guideline.
Earlier this year, Trump targeted Germany for not meeting the financing guidelines, but Daniel Benjamin, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said that Germany and other member states do not pay the money to NATO, the United States, or any other country.
"(Germany) has, like many members, fallen short of its commitments, which is obviously not good," Benjamin told Politifact. "But there is no central bank this money goes into, and there is no transaction."
Trump told the national leaders at the Brussels summit this week that members must "finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations."
The president will wrap up his foreign travels with the G7 meetings in Taormina, Italy on Saturday before returning to the White House.
On Saturday, Trump tweeted that his first focus at the meetings will be on terrorism.
In addition Saturday, Trump, in a surprise announcement on Twitter, said he'll make a final decision next week on whether the U.S. will stay in the Paris climate agreement, after resisting pressure from European leaders to remain in the agreement.
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