United Kingdom hopes Trump's view of Britain will be positive after visit

This week’s summit in Brussels could expose cracks in the Nato alliance

This week’s summit in Brussels could expose cracks in the Nato allianceWAKIL KOHSAR AFP GETTY IMAGES

NATO, which was founded soon after World War II to counter the influence of the Soviet Union, officially suspended all cooperation with Russian Federation after Putin seized Crimea in 2014.

Accusing the president of criticising Europe "almost daily", Mr Tusk said the European Union spent more than Russian Federation on defence and as much as China. "I've said that many times for many years, so we'll see".

'Very supportive. And maybe we'll speak to him when I get over there'.

This time, his stature on the world stage is bolstered by his unprecedented summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Speaking outside the White House as he prepared to board his Marine One helicopter, Trump said: 'That is up to the people, ' when asked if Mrs May should remain in her job. "Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all - who would think?" He added that if Trump is warmer toward Putin than the leaders of the military alliance that was founded to protect Europe from Soviet threats, it would go "a long way to undermining NATO, undermining the trans-Atlantic relationship, undermining our relationship with our allies".

The US commander-in-chief has a familiar stick to wield: the shortfall in defense spending; or as Trump puts it, allies' refusal to "pay what they owe". Separately, doubts about Trump's commitment to European security have pushed EU leaders to boost defense cooperation.

"Certainly, the president has been very plainspoken about asking our allies to do more", Hutchison said from Brussels, noting that other former presidents, including Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, did the same.

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"We've had falling outs over Libya, Iraq in 2003, but it's qualitatively different in that the biggest of the allies doesn't just have disagreements with us, but actually seems willing to walk away", Valasek said.

Mr Trump will not make any public appearances in London when he comes to the United Kingdom next week - amid a massive security operation.

Trump, who said he has not spoken with May since the resignations, described Johnson as a "friend of mine" and said he might speak with him during the trip.

Trump also compared the United Kingdom unfavourably to Russian Federation, saying that his planned talks with Vladimir Putin next week would be "the easiest of them" in coming days.

"A competitor", the president said.

In the past few weeks, Trump has sent sharply worded letters to the leaders of several European countries, including Germany, Italy and Norway, as well as to Canada, urging increased defense spending and warning that the US was losing patience.

"I said, 'You know, Angela, I can't guarantee it, but we're protecting you, '" Trump said, referring to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at a Montana rally on July 5. And with Trump meeting Putin on neutral ground in Helsinki, Finland for a high stakes meeting on the last day of his four-country trip, experts say allies will likely try to prime Trump for his talks. Trump has dismissed those probes as nothing but a "witch hunt".

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