President Donald Trump on Tuesday claimed he had a great meeting with Vladimir Putin and lashed out at the media coverage that captured the widespread dismay at his news conference with the Russian president.
“While I had a great meeting with NATO, raising vast amounts of money, I had an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russia. Sadly, it is not being reported that way – the Fake News is going Crazy,” the president tweeted.
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Trump met with Putin on Monday for a one-on-one meeting, followed by a remarkable news conference in which Trump publicly sided with Putin over his own intelligence agencies regarding Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
The comments sparked an outcry, including from many fellow Republicans who escalated their criticism of Trump’s coziness toward Putin.
The summit came several days after Trump participated in the NATO summit and alienated U.S. allies by publicly slamming them and demanding that they dramatically increase their defense spending.
“I had a great meeting with NATO. They have paid $33 Billion more and will pay hundreds of Billions of Dollars more in the future, only because of me,” the president tweeted earlier on Tuesday. “NATO was weak, but now it is strong again (bad for Russia). The media only says I was rude to leaders, never mentions the money!“
NATO spending, however, has been going up since 2014, prior to Trump‘s first meeting with NATO in 2017. It is unclear where Trump got the $33 billion figure.
The president has complained many times that the U.S. carries too much burden at NATO and has suggested that nations commit to spending 4 percent of their GDP on defense.
The NATO summit began on a tense note when Trump declared that Germany is “totally controlled by Russia“ due to a controversial pipeline project between the two countries called Nord Stream 2.