Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Trump calls Putin competitor before setting off on trip to Europe

Trump calls Putin competitor before setting off on trip to Europe

The ties between the USA and many of its longest-standing allies have frayed since Trump took office and put his "America first" agenda into practice. "Who would think? But the United Kingdom certainly has a lot of things going on".

The President also called former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson - who resigned Monday - "my friend" - just days before he is due to meet with Mrs May during his first visit to the United Kingdom as president. The EU did strike back with retaliatory tariffs on United States goods.

But a Europe that better defends itself and buys more American gas gives Trump another advantage because it makes Europe more resilient militarily and less dependent on Russian gas.

The NATO summit is likely to be dominated by Trump's insistence that member nations step up and pay more for their joint defence.

In between, he will be in Britain, with a black tie dinner hosted by May on Thursday and a working visit with the prime minister on Friday.

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Analyst Karlijn Jans of the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies said there have been numerous governmental and independent reports "talking about the dire state of especially European militaries - in terms of how they're able to deploy, if they can work together in the battlefield, communicate with each other".

Then there's the long shadow cast by Vladimir Putin, and fears in some allied capitals at what Trump might offer the Russian leader at their summit in Helsinki next Monday.

As he departed Washington on Tuesday, Trump stoked the deep divisions in May's government to undermine the leader of America's closest historic ally on the eve of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting.

Where are protests against Donald Trump taking place in Scotland? And It is not to sugarcoat Trump's gross failure to understand that U.S. power and influence in the world, essential underpinnings of his desire to put "American first", demand that the United States also work effectively with other countries, especially its allies and partners around the world.

"We do have a lot of allies".

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Mr. Trump's weeklong trip to Europe will continue with a stop in Scotland before ending with a sit-down in Helsinki with Putin, whose country the USA intelligence community has concluded interfered in the 2016 election to help Mr. Trump win.

Asked on ITV's Good Morning Britain programme if he would have endorsed a 20ft blimp of himself as a pig or Barak Obama in a nappy, he added: "Let me answer that directly". Separately, doubts about Trump's commitment to European security have pushed EU leaders to boost defense cooperation.

Trump said Tuesday he "can't say right now" if Putin is a friend or foe, but called him a "competitor".

During his first meeting at the group's headquarters in Brussels past year, Trump suggested that members who haven't been paying their fair share should be required to pay back dues.

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