Trump campaigned on a Muslim ban that he later modified to apply to a list of mostly Muslim countries and building a wall on the U.S. Mexico border. "It's been unbelievable to see the level of spirit in that room".
Officials had been awaiting the first meeting as an indicator of Mr Trump's mood and they soon had their answer. "After we're at 2 percent, we'll start talking about going higher. He is not my enemy ... hopefully someday maybe he will be a friend", Mr Trump said.
We have realized this since the attack on Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea.
He also vowed to raise allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election, amid an ongoing U.S. investigation into whether his campaign colluded with Moscow.
In 2017, the alliance saw its biggest increase in defense spending "in a generation", he said, signaling to his aggrieved ally in the White House that "we see that all Allies have started to increase defense spending based on the national plans we have agreed to develop past year". "We have a tremendous relationship with Germany". "The US is paying for Europe's protection, then loses billions on Trade". Trump tweeted on Thursday morning before the second day of talks.
Asked what would be the best possible result from his meeting with Putin, Trump said: "What would be the ultimate?"
Trump heads to Britain on Thursday, where the government is in crisis over Brexit and where tensions with Russian Federation have spiked after London blamed Moscow for the death this month of a British woman from contact with the Novichok nerve agent. And the president's declaration was also directly contradicted by one of his closest personal allies, French President Emanuel Macron.
Trump has spent weeks berating members of the alliance for failing to spend enough of their money on defence, accusing Europe of freeloading off the USA and raising doubts about whether he would come to members' defence if they were ever attacked.
Says Stoltenberg: "We have agreed that we're committed to the pledge increasing defence spending to 2 percent".
Trump told leaders he wanted them all to hit that target by January, prompting consternation. Energy exports represent Russia's main source of revenue, and Trump argues that the pipeline undermines NATO's objective, as it's created to counter Russian aggression.
So, in a stroke, he shifted attention away from his own ties to the Kremlin just days before he meets one-on-one with Putin.
He described the current situation as "disproportionate and not fair to the taxpayers of the United States".
"I told them I would be very unhappy if they did not up their commitments substantially".
Stoltenberg, who has seemed eager to heap praise on President Trump for increases in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation funding in public settings, again said that "his strong message is having a clear impact, allies are increasing defense spending".
"So we have a commitment to spend two percent".
"I think the secretary general likes Trump", he said, alluding to allies having to boost military spending in response to his pressure tactics.
With that, Trump moved on to the United Kingdom, where significant protests against him were expected. And one of the freedoms we have is freedom of speech and the freedom to express your views. "I'm very consistent. I'm a very stable genius".
Trump's comments came in a wide-ranging news conference after attending a special meeting on defense spending.