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Trump: Media only says I was 'rude' to NATO leaders, ignores 'the money'

Trump: Media only says I was 'rude' to NATO leaders, ignores 'the money'
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump renews attacks against Tester over VA nominee on eve of Montana rally Trump submits 2017 federal income tax returns Corker: Trump administration 'clamped down' on Saudi intel, canceled briefing MORE on Tuesday took aim at media coverage of last week's NATO summit in Brussels, arguing that news outlets focused only on him being "rude to leaders" while ignoring "the money" alliance members have pledged toward defense.

"I had a great meeting with NATO. They have paid $33 Billion more and will pay hundreds of Billions of Dollars more in the future, only because of me. NATO was weak, but now it is strong again (bad for Russia). The media only says I was rude to leaders, never mentions the money!" Trump tweeted to his 53.2 million followers.

Trump threw the NATO summit into crisis mode last week, scolding allies for not spending enough on defense and reportedly raising doubts about whether he would withdraw the U.S. from the transatlantic alliance.

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During a news conference before departing Brussels last Thursday, he said the U.S. remains committed to NATO and touted agreements for increased defense spending among members.

“The United States' commitment to NATO is very strong, remains very strong,” he said.

“Tremendous progress has been made. Everyone’s agreed to substantially up their commitment. They’re going to up it at levels that they’ve never thought of before,” he added, without providing specifics.

French President Emmanuel Macron, however, said NATO allies would not increase defense spending beyond previously set goals.

In a subsequent tweet on Tuesday, the president again broached what he described as "a great meeting with NATO" while stating he "had an even better meeting" with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday despite it "not being reported that way."

Trump met overwhelming criticism from conservatives and liberals alike after he openly questioned U.S. intelligence findings around Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election while appearing to take Putin, a former KGB intelligence officer, at his word his government wasn't involved.

“He just said it’s not Russia,” Trump said in echoing Putin’s denials of involvement in the U.S. election. “I will say this, I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

Trump returned to Washington to find the Putin summit the dominant topic on broadcast and cable news programs, with several pro-Trump figures urging the president to address the topic of Russian meddling more forcefully.

On morning television shows and social media, several Trump supporters offered similar advice: that Trump explain to the nation why he appeared to side with Putin instead of the U.S. intelligence team.

“He’s got to speak out about it, and he’s got to reverse course immediately,” former White House communications director Anthony ScaramucciAnthony ScaramucciAnn Coulter believes Kushner wrote anonymous op-ed bashing Trump Spicer: People at White House are 'burnt out' Scaramucci: John McCain, an inspiration for a day of unity MORE, for example, said on CNN. “The optics of this situation are a disaster."

"If he doesn’t reverse course on this, he will eventually lose people who want to support him.”