Jul 12, 2018

Trump claims "tremendous" progress after emergency NATO meeting

Trump in Brussels. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

President Trump called an emergency meeting of NATO leaders at the summit in Brussels on Thursday, then held a surprise press conference and said there was a "tremendous amount of progress today."

Why it matters: At the meeting, Trump threatened to "do his own thing" if member countries do not immediately increase defense spending commitments, the Washington Post's Michael Birnbaum and Phil Rucker report, citing officials briefed on the events. Some diplomats reportedly interpreted Trump's comments as a threat to withdraw from NATO.

Details:

  • "Trump told NATO leaders that if they did not meet their defense spending targets of 2 percent of gross domestic product by January, the United States would go it alone, according to two officials briefed on the meeting."
  • "Trump scolded leaders here and singled out some specific countries, including Germany and Spain."

Speaking to reporters after the emergency meeting, Trump said, "I told people that I'd be very unhappy if they didn't up their financial commitments substantially."

  • "Everyone’s agreed to substantially up their commitment. They’re going to up it at levels that they’ve never thought of before,” Trump said. Macron later refuted Trump and said NATO leaders did not agree to increase defense spending to more than 2% of GDP.
  • Trump again called himself a "very stable genius" and claimed he got NATO countries other than the U.S. to contribute an additional $33 billion to defense spending "since last year."

Go deeper: NATO strengthened at summit despite Trump's threats

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 5,375,648 — Total deaths: 343,721 — Total recoveries — 2,149,412Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 1,639,872 — Total deaths: 97,599 — Total recoveries: 361,239 — Total tested: 13,784,786Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
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Updated 50 mins ago - Politics & Policy

White House announces new coronavirus travel restrictions on Brazil

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro with Trump, March 19, 2019. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool via Getty Images

The White House announced that beginning at 11:59 pm ET on Thursday, President Trump would suspend entry of non-U.S. citizens who have been in Brazil in the past 14 days in an effort to stop the imported spread of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Brazil has reported nearly 350,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus — the second-most in the world behind the U.S. — and has emerged as a Southern Hemisphere hotspot as other heavily affected countries in Asia and Europe have managed to get their outbreaks under control.

Trumpworld's plan to brand Biden

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Mandel Ngan/AFP

Trump's advisers relish the contrast between his public appearances and Joe Biden's lack thereof. The former vice president, following the guidance of public experts, has eschewed public events and stayed home for months now. Trump, meanwhile, is out and about — masks be damned.

What we're hearing: Watch for plenty more mask-free outings from Trump, hyping the reopening of the economy and avoiding discussions of social distancing and death counts.