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

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 32,471,119 — Total deaths: 987,593 — Total recoveries: 22,374,557Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 7,032,524 — Total deaths: 203,657 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,483,712Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.
Mike Allen, author of AM
6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden pushes unity message in new TV wave

A fresh Joe Biden ad, "New Start," signals an effort by his campaign to make unity a central theme, underscoring a new passage in his stump speech that says he won't be a president just for Democrats but for all Americans.

What he's saying: The ad — which began Friday night, and is a follow-up to "Fresh Start" — draws from a Biden speech earlier in the week in Manitowoc, Wisconsin:

Trump prepares to announce Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court replacement

Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Photo: Matt Cashore/Notre Dame University via Reuters

President Trump is preparing to nominate federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana, a favorite of both the social conservative base and Republican elected officials, to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Republican sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Barrett would push the already conservative court further and harder to the right, for decades to come, on the most important issues in American politics — from abortion to the limits of presidential power. If confirmed, she would give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the high court.