JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md.—President Donald Trump leaves Tuesday morning for a seven-day tour through Europe that will begin with him confronting jittery NATO allies over military spending and end with a summit with President Vladimir Putin that will seek to reset U.S. relations with Moscow.
The trip will showcase two foreign-policy thrusts of the administration: Trump’s contention that the U.S. has been unfairly treated by its European allies on trade and security, and his interest in improving relations with Russia, despite Moscow’s efforts to divide the West and meddle in elections in the U.S. and across Europe.
Getting ready to leave for Europe. First meeting – NATO. The U.S. is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them. Not fair to the U.S. taxpayer. On top of that we lose $151 Billion on Trade with the European Union. Charge us big Tariffs (& Barriers)!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2018
It also comes on the heels of a similar one-two combination last month that European allies and some U.S. officials say they are loath to repeat: a contentious meeting in Quebec with members of the Group of Seven, including the major European powers, followed by a Singapore summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
‘Trump is comfortable being alone and leading on an issue, and eventually having people come over to him. If they don’t come over to him, the risk is perhaps diminished American prestige if he’s not able to pull it off.’
On Wednesday and Thursday, Trump will attend the North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in Brussels, where he is expected to hold a single bilateral meeting, with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. On Thursday afternoon, he will travel to London for meetings with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and an audience with Queen Elizabeth II, before heading to Scotland to prepare for Monday’s summit in Helsinki with Putin.
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