Donald Trump left the opening day of the Nato summit in Brussels in disarray on Wednesday after making a surprise demand for members to raise their defence spending to 4% of GDP, and clashing with German chancellor Angela Merkel over a proposed pipeline deal with Russia.
Trump left the assembled presidents and prime ministers floundering, unsure whether he was serious about the 4% target, double the existing Nato target of 2%, which many do not meet, or whether it was just a ploy.
After making the announcement, Trump walked out.
The White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, confirmed the 4% figure. “During the president’s remarks today at the Nato summit he suggested that countries not only meet their commitment of 2% of their GDP on defence spending, but that they increase it to 4%,” she said.
Sanders added: “President Trump wants to see our allies share more of the burden and, at a very…