Trump offers commitment to defending NATO allies

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMueller report findings could be a 'good day' for Trump, Dem senator says Trump officials heading to China for trade talks next week Showdown looms over Mueller report MORE underlined the U.S. commitment to defending other members of NATO during a Friday press conference, just weeks after failing to do so at a meeting with other leaders of the organization in Brussels.

Speaking during a joint press conference with the president of Romania in the White House Rose Garden, Trump said he'd stand by the defense clause in NATO's treaty, called Article 5.

He also repeated his assertion that NATO allies need to pay more dues so that America does not shoulder too much of the financial burden when it comes to cost-sharing. 

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“I'm committing the United States to Article 5, and certainly, we are there to protect and certainly that's one of the reasons that I want people to make sure we have a very, very strong force by paying the kind of money necessary to have that force,” Trump said in response to a question.

“Absolutely, I'd be committed to Article 5.”

During a speech last month to NATO leaders in front of a memorial to Article 5, which says that an attack on one ally is an attack on all allies, Trump did not specifically commit to the principle, a move that drew criticism. 

White House advisers have defended the president, arguing that his commitment to NATO is clear because his speech was at an event commemorating the common defense of NATO allies. 

Earlier this week, Politico reported that Trump was supposed to re-affirm the U.S. commitment to Article 5 in his speech but that he chose not to at the last minute, to the surprise of many in his staff. 

Trump did not respond to another question posed by the Romanian reporter who asked about Article 5: whether he thought Russia was a threat to Romania.