GOP senator: NATO summit 'turned out well'

GOP senator: NATO summit 'turned out well'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanSenators fear Syria damage 'irreversible' after Esper, Milley briefing Overnight Defense: Trump hits Iranian central bank with sanctions | Trump meeting with Ukrainian leader at UN | Trump touts relationship with North Korea's Kim as 'best thing' for US Exclusive: Kushner tells GOP it needs to unify behind immigration plan MORE (R-Alaska) on Sunday defended President TrumpDonald John TrumpFlorida GOP lawmaker says he's 'thinking' about impeachment Democrats introduce 'THUG Act' to block funding for G-7 at Trump resort Kurdish group PKK pens open letter rebuking Trump's comparison to ISIS MORE's actions at the NATO summit in Brussels last week, saying that the gatherings have always been prone to "drama."

Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," Sullivan said that the summit resulted in clear progress for the alliance, including reaffirmed commitments by member states to increase their defense spending to at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP).

"I think the NATO summit actually turned out pretty well. There’s always drama that comes into these summits," Sullivan, a former assistant secretary of State under President George W. Bush, said.

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"At the end of the day, I think actually that summit turned out well," he continued. "You had the president fully recommitting to our focus on NATO. Very importantly, we made progress on the 2 percent GDP spending."

Trump barreled into the NATO summit in Brussels last week with hard-line demands that allies increase their defense spending beyond the 2 percent of GDP goal set by the military alliance in 2014.

He complained that the U.S. has for too long carried the financial burden of Europe's security and accused Germany of being "totally controlled by Russia," because of its use of Russian natural gas.

But as he left the summit on Wednesday, Trump said that NATO allies had agreed to raise defense spending "at levels that they never thought of before." 

Some European leaders, however rejected that claim, including French President Emmanuel Macron, who said that NATO members had simply reaffirmed their commitment to the 2 percent marker

"The communique is clear," he said. "It reaffirms a commitment to 2 percent in 2024. That is all."