US NATO envoy says alliance 'making progress' in defense spending

US NATO envoy says alliance 'making progress' in defense spending
© Keren Carrion

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says US has coronavirus 'totally under control' Senate Republicans muscle through rules for Trump trial Collins breaks with GOP on attempt to change impeachment rules resolution MORE's envoy to NATO defended member states' defense spending on Sunday, saying that the alliance is "making progress."

"NATO really is making progress and they are doing it really at President Trump’s insistence, and I think that it is very clear and he’s been very direct about the Europeans needing to do more for their own security," Kay Bailey Hutchison told "Fox News Sunday."

"Now, I think for the first time we are really seeing the Europeans start going in the right direction," she added. 

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Trump has repeatedly claimed that the U.S. is bearing an unfair share of the cost of NATO members' defense, and has called on alliance members to spend more on their own defense. 

The Washington Post reported last week that the president has told aides that he wants to cut funding on Europe's defense, unless NATO members begin to spend more on the alliance and their own militaries. 

NATO members pledged in 2014 to work toward spending at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense by 2024. That goal means increasing funding on their individual militaries and defense, rather than for NATO as a whole.