From the Vault: President Trump's first NATO Summit

People walk outside the entrance of the new NATO headquarters in Brussels

But with the president in attendance, Bremmer argued, it's bound to end in animus, just like the recent G-7 meeting.

Kommersant's sources in the US government say Washington is ready to incorporate these sentiments into a joint statement at the summit, but the White House wants a declaration (either in a separate document or a verbal statement) that the United States is concerned about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and the Trump administration wants a guarantee that Moscow won't meddle again.

He later tweeted: "The US doesn't have and won't have a better ally than the EU".

Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Frankly Putin may be the easiest of them all, who would think.

Derek Chollet, executive vice-president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a think-tank, says there is a clear connection between Trump's criticism of German defence spending and reports that the Pentagon has undertaken a review of the cost of keeping troops in Europe.

US President Donald Trump (R) and US First Lady Melania Trump disembark from Air Force One as they arrive at Melsbroek Air Base in Haachtsesteenweg on July 10, 2018.

"There is a communication problem there", he said, adding that the controversial moves could have the adverse effect of making it hard for European leaders to legislate to increase their defense budgets.

One can not rule out the possibility that Trump lacks the mental capacity to understand the basic form of America's most important alliance. The UK came in at 2.12 percent.

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On Nato, President Trump's main objection is that a number of member states have not increased their defence budgets to the target of 2% of economic output.

But the President's mid-air tweets aboard Air Force One slamming North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies for failing to meet their defense spending commitments and upbraiding the European Union over what Trump perceives as an unfair trading relationship came as little surprise to the European counterparts Trump is set to meet with over the next week. "Will they reimburse the US?" he said in one tweet.

But, given a general wariness towards Russian Federation among American voters and Congressional lawmakers, Trump is unlikely to concede too much to Putin, said Michaels.

The White House is already telegraphing success for this week's summit and sounding an optimistic tone about the member countries' ability to work together.

When the president put tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, which affected key trade partners including European countries, he cited national security concerns as his reason.

Asked if he views Putin as a friend or foe, the president said "I really can't say right now" and instead characterized him as "a competitor".

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