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Trump leaves European allies spinning after NATO summit

Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

BRUSSELS — President Trump left allies in a state of irritation, confusion and — for some, relief — after a NATO summit during which I'm told he was privately charming in some of his one-on-ones but bombastic and threatening in larger meetings.

The big picture: At this morning's emergency meeting of leaders, Trump made comments that some diplomats interpreted as a veiled threat that the U.S. would withdraw from NATO, according to sources briefed on the meeting. But Trump held an impromptu press conference before leaving the summit and in that conference he claimed total victory — saying the summit had been a huge success, and thanks to him, other NATO members had committed to increase their military spending “like they never have before.”