On day two of President Donald Trump’s meeting with NATO in Brussels, the President claimed that America’s European allies have agreed to a sharp increase in military spending.
On CNN Thursday, reporter Christiane Amanpour tried to pin down what that means from NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg.
“We agreed we need to spend more. There’s a new sense of urgency into investing more in our defense,” Stoltenberg said.
Amanpour tried to get the exact number.
“First and foremost, has President Trump secured a pledge from NATO allies to begin spending more. Have the allies agreed specifically to figures demanded by the President today?” she asked.
“The allies have heard his message loud and clear,” Stoltenberg said.
“For me this is a good summit.”
“I want a clear answer. Macron denies that the allies agreed to spending beyond 2%. We need to know the facts,” Amanpour demanded to know.
“There’s a new sense of urgency,” Stoltenberg parried.
They then moved on to President Trump’s accusation that Germany is beholden to Russia because they get there energy needs from Russian companies.
“There are very strong views and positions,” Stoltenberg said.
“It’s not for NATO to decide on gas pipelines.”
“For us dialogue is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength,” he concluded, without telling Amanpour the percent NATO allies have agreed to increase spending.
Dem lawmaker demolishes GOP defense that Trump still did more for Ukraine than Obama
During the impeachment testimony of State Department officials Laura Cooper and David Hale, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) used his time to dismantle a growing defense of President Donald Trump's apparent use of Ukrainian foreign aid for an extortion scheme: that Obama didn't give Ukraine aid either, so Trump didn't even have to.
"Now as to the justification," said Swalwell. "The justification is that the Obama administration only provided blankets, so the Ukrainians should be grateful, even after being shaken down, that the Trump administration provided more, but the truth, Ms. Cooper, is that under the Obama administration and the European Reassurance Initiative, $175 million were provided from U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Ukrainians, is that right?"
Trumper Scott Jennings slams Devin Nunes for ‘being caught totally flat-footed’
It's clear the morning testimony didn't go as well as Republicans had wanted. The concern was evident on the face of House Minority Leader Devin Nunes (R-CA), who exchanged glances with the GOP counsel.
Republican Scott Jennings is quick to defend the White House and the GOP, but Wednesday even he was forced to concede his party wasn't prepared for what EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland testified.
CNN host John King noted that the Republican counsel brought up Rudy Giuliani and his business relationships in Ukraine, outside of his work for President Donald Trump.
Trump is desperately cherry-picking portions of Sondland’s testimony to ignore the bombshells: CNN correspondent
On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins noted how President Donald Trump is desperately trying to focus on the narrow portions of E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland's testimony that put him in a good light — and ignoring the trove of damning new information against him.
"[Sondland] makes it clear, absolutely, totally discarding what the president and his allies are saying for weeks," said anchor Wolf Blitzer.
"What the White House [is] relying on, and what the president was reading from earlier, was the conversation where he had called the president to ask if there was a quid pro quo, and he said the president got angry and said there was not one and that he didn't want anything from Ukraine," said Collins. "What they are ignoring is what he started his testimony with today, that yes, in relation to the aid to the White House — to the White House call and the White House meeting, there was a quid pro quo. And we should note there has still been no White House meeting for the Ukrainian leader."