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Trump Takes Questions at NATO; Trump Calls Meetings Success. Aired 6:30-7a ET
Aired July 12, 2018 - 06:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[06:30:00] QUESTION: About the commitments that you secure today with regards to increasing (INAUDIBLE)? Is there an updated timeline? Are there specific countries you could cite? Because a majority of them were already planning to meet that 2 percent threshold by 2024.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, many of them, in fact Germany was going to be in the year 2028 or 2030.
Yes, I think it's a very effective way to deal, but I didn't deal exactly the way you said. I have great respect for Germany. My father's from Germany. Both of my parents are from the E.U., despite the fact they don't treat us well on trade, but I think that will change also. And I think we'll see that because on the 25th of July, they're coming in to start negotiate with me. We'll see.
And if they don't negotiate in good faith, we'll do something having to do with all of the millions of cars that are coming into our country and being taxed as a virtually zero level, at a very low level.
But, Jeremy, I think it's been a very effective way of negotiating. But I'm not negotiating. I just want fairness for the United States. We're paying for far too much of NATO. NATO is very important. But NATO is helping Europe more than it's helping us. At the same time, it's very good for us.
So we have now got it to a point where people are paying a lot more money, and that's starting, really, last year. It really had -- you were there last year. And last year we had a big impact.
Again, we took in $33 billion more. And if you ask Secretary General Stoltenberg, he gives us total credit, meaning me, I guess, in this case, total credit because I said it was unfair.
N ow, what has happened is presidents, over many years, from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama, they came in, they said, OK, hey, do the best you can and they left. Nobody did anything about it. And it got to a point where the United States was paying for 90 percent of NATO. And that's not fair.
So it's changed. We had a really good meeting today. We had a great meeting in terms of -- in terms of getting along. I know most of the people in the room because of last year, because of the year and a half that we've been in office, year and a half plus, but we have a great relationship. Everybody in that room, by the time we left, got along and they agreed to pay more and they agreed to pay it more quickly.
QUESTION: Mr. President.
TRUMP: Yes. Go ahead, Phil.
QUESTION: Mr. President, Phillip Rutger (ph) from "The Washington Post."
QUESTION: Do you -- you tweeted yesterday, what good is NATO? And you've talked about NATO as an alliance that benefits Europe -- that defends and protects Europe. Do you see any value of NATO to the United States vis-a-vis Russia? Does it help protect the United States from Russia, in your view?
TRUMP: I think it's another very strong ally as together it's much stronger than, obviously, individual countries. I think it's -- the way we have it now, I think it's a much -- I think NATO got -- you know what was happening with spending prior to my getting into office. The numbers were going down. Now the numbers have gone up like a rocket ship. The numbers have gone up a lot and they've gone up rapidly and they're now going up further.
So I think NATO is going to be very, very effective. I'm very impressed with -- and really (INAUDIBLE) and he's a friend of mine, but the Secretary General Stoltenberg has done a fantastic job and putting it all together. And we were the ones that really -- we gave him an extension of his contract, as you know. I think he's done a really good job.
I think that when I was saying that I am very concerned with the pipeline. I don't like the pipeline. And when I talk about NATO, I say, how do you have NATO and then you have somebody paying the people that you're protecting against.
But maybe we'll get along with the group that we're protecting against. I think that's a real possibility. As you know, I'm meeting with President Putin on Monday. And I think we go into that meeting, not looking for so much, we want to find out about Syria. We will, of course, ask the favorite question about meddling. I will be asking that question again. But we'll also be talking about other things. We'll be talking about Ukraine. Ukraine was here today, by the way, and, you know, it was very interesting to hear what they had to say.
So -- excuse me?
QUESTION: What if he denies?
TRUMP: Well, he may. I mean, look, he may, you know, what am I going to do if -- he may deny it. I mean it's one of those things. All I can do is say, did you and don't do it again. But he may deny it. I mean, well, you'll be the first to know, OK.
Go ahead. Yes, go ahead.
QUESTION: Robert Wahl (ph) with "The Wall Street Journal."
TRUMP: Yes. All right.
QUESTION: If the Germans and the Canadians and others don't come up to 2 percent, what is your fallback position? How will you up the pressure to make them actually --
TRUMP: Well, they will. They will. I have no doubt about it. They all make commitments. And they will be up to 2 percent. It will be over a period -- a relatively short period of years, OK?
QUESTION: Thank you so much.
TRUMP: Yes, go ahead.
Mr. President, what do you think today needs (ph) these (ph) are not Georgia (INAUDIBLE) support from NATO and I want to ask about --
[06:35:01] TRUMP: Georgia? They were here today representing you (ph).
QUESTION: Yes. And we will talk about Georgia in a meeting with Mr. -- with President Putin.
TRUMP: Well, they were here. They made a very favorable impression. And we listened to their plight. It's a tough situation with Georgia. But they made a very favorable impression in the room. OK.
Yes, go ahead. Go. Go.
QUESTION: One more point.
TRUMP: Go ahead.
QUESTION: Oh, I'm sorry.
TRUMP: Yes, you really did. Come on. Go ahead. Go ahead.
QUESTION: Well, I had a question as well, but nonetheless I'll ask, sir, will you -- will you recognize --
QUESTION: Will you recognize Russia's annex -- will you recognize Crimea as part of Russia when you meet President --
TRUMP: Oh, that's an interesting question because, you know, long before I got here, President Obama allowed that to happen. That was on his watch, not on my watch, you know? People like to say, oh, Crimea, but the fact is, they built bridges to Crimea. They just opened a big bridge that was started years ago. They built, I think, a submarine port. Substantially added billions of dollars. So that was on Barack Obama's watch. That was not on Trump's watch. Would I have allowed it to happen? No, I would not have allowed it to
happen. But he did allow it to happen. So that was his determination.
What will happen with Crimea from this point on? That I can't tell you. But I'm not happy about Crimea. But, again, that was Barack Obama's watch, not Trump's watch.
Yes, go ahead. Sure.
QUESTION: Jeff Mason from "Reuters," Mr. President.
TRUMP: Yes. I know, Jeff.
QUESTION: Regarding your summit with President Putin, will you be raising arms control issues? Would you like --
QUESTION: Would you like to extend New Start (ph) and will you raise concerns about violations of the INF treaty?
QUESTION: And as a follow-up to the NATO meeting today, will you suggest to him, or would you consider, stopping military exercises in the Baltic States if that's something that he requests?
TRUMP: Well, perhaps we'll talk about that. But I will say that we are going to be talking about those three issues and many more, we'll be talking about it, Jeff, OK.
Go ahead. Go ahead.
We are in the (INAUDIBLE) the cost of Davos (ph) before. I would like to know if you are planning to guarantee the taxpayers that the new money that is flowing into NATO will be spent in the best possible way, especially the money coming from country that have several problem with the public finances.
TRUMP: Well, the money will be spent properly. And one of the things that we have, we have many wealthy countries with us today, but we have some that aren't so wealthy. And they did ask we -- if they could buy the military equipment and could I help them out. And we will help them out a little bit. We're not going to finance it for them but we'll make sure that they're able to get payments and various other things so they can buy because the United States makes by far the best military equipment in the world, the best jets, missiles, the best missiles, the best guns, the best everything. We make -- by far. I mean that's one thing I guess I assumed that prior to taking office, but I really learned, since being president, our equipment is so much better than anybody else's' equipment when you look at our companies, Lockheed, and Boeing and Grumman. What -- the material -- the equipment that we make is so far superior everybody wants to buy our equipment. It begs the question, can they make it because they are doing very well, can they make it for so many people? So we are helping some of those countries get online and buy the best equipment.
Yes, go ahead.
QUESTION: Hi, Kristen Brown (ph) with Fox News.
On your upcoming summit with President Putin, did any of your allies here express any specific concerns or talk to you about any messages that they'd like you to take with you when you go to the summit?
TRUMP: Yes, just the opposite of concern. They actually, and they'll probably come out with a little bit of an edict, but they actually thanks me for meeting with President Putin. I look forward to the meeting. They thanked me. They thought it was a great thing that I was doing it. And they gave us our best wishes -- or their best wishes.
Now, with that being said, we'll see what happens. Just a loose meeting. It's not going to be big schedule. I don't think it should take a very long period of time. And we'll see where it leads. But it could lead to productive -- something very productive. And maybe it's not. But I think meeting with people is great.
We had a great meeting with Chairman Kim. And, I'll tell you, Mike Pompeo did a fantastic job.
I might ask you to say a few words, Mike, while you're here. Just one second. Mike.
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: Thank you, Mr. President.
So, I did. I returned. I actually came straight from North Korea with a couple of stops here to Brussels.
We had a productive conversation. There remains a great deal of work to do. But I think, most importantly, my counterpart, Kim Yong Chol made a commitment consistent with what President Trump was able to achieve with Chairman Kim, which was they intend to denuclearize, they're going to accomplish it, and now the task is to get it implemented.
[06:40:08] TRUMP: And I think -- just to finish on that, you know, it's so important. That was an amazing -- really an amazing meeting, I thought. And I really think that we established very good relationships. We'll see where it all ends. But there have been no missile tests. There have been no reach. Where -- there has been -- they have blown up a site. I hear they're blowing up another site, missile site. They've taken down all of the propaganda. In fact, somebody said, there's no more music playing at the border line. You know, the music was going on for many years. They said recently that, wow, there's no more of the heavy music and the propaganda. They've -- they've done a lot of things.
And we got back our three hostages. So it's a good -- it's a good process. But the main thing is, there have been no rocket launches. There have been no missile tests. There's been no nuclear tests, no explosions, no nothing, for almost nine months.
Yes, please. Sure.
QUESTION: Ian McKaskil (ph) from "The Guardian."
And your trip to the U.K., there are lots of protests planned in London and elsewhere. How do you feel to -- about that?
TRUMP: I think it's fine. I mean I think they like me a lot in the U.K. I think they agree with me on immigration. I'm very strong on immigration. I made a point today, I said, you've got to stop, you're ruining your -- you're going to have a lot of problems. You see what's going on throughout the world with immigration. I probably, at least partially, won an election because of immigration. If you look at Italy, Giseppi (ph), who I got to know quite well over the last month and a half, he won his election because of strong immigration policies on Italy.
I think that a lot of the people in the U.K. -- I think that's why Brexit happened. I don't know what's going on with the negotiation. Who knows. But I think that's become a very interesting point of contention.
I said, I'm going to a few hot spots. We have NATO. Then we have the U.K. And then we have Putin. And I said, Putin may be the easiest of them all. You never know. But I'm going to a pretty hot spot right now, right, with a lot of -- a lot of resignations. But I will say that immigration's a very important thing. And I told them today the E.U., the European Union, better be very careful because immigration is taking over Europe and they better be very, very careful.
And I said that loud and clear.
Yes, go ahead.
QUESTION: President Trump, (INAUDIBLE) Romania.
What will you tell President Putin about this summit and about NATO?
TRUMP: Well, I think he's going to see about this summit, this has turned out to be a very successful summit. This is -- I think -- I think really that NATO is more put together right now, is more coordinated, and I think there's a better spirit for NATO right now than perhaps they've ever had. It's richer than it ever was. The commitments are made at a higher level than they've ever been made. And the money to be paid out faster, far faster.
You know, the 2 percent was a range, a goal. It wasn't something that they were committed to. Now it's a commitment. There's a big difference, the 2 percent number. And that's why so many people weren't reaching it or hitting it. It was just sort of like this amorphous number out there. Now it's a commitment. A real commitment.
I think he's going to see that there's great unity, great spirit, great esprit de corps. And I think we're going to have a good meeting. Regardless of that, I think we're going to have a good meeting. But this was a fantastic two days. This was a really fantastic -- it all came together at the end. And, yes, it was a little tough for a little while, but ultimately you can ask anybody at that meeting, they're really liking what happened over the last two days. There's a great, great spirit leaving that room.
Yes, sir, go ahead, please.
QUESTION: Yes, Jonathan Bill (ph) from BBC.
I just -- just wonder, you think you're going to get along with President Putin. Can you just tell us, why do you think that? Is there something you admire about him?
And the second question, because you're just about to go to the U.K.
TRUMP: Well, he's a competitor. He's been very nice to me the times I've met him. I've been nice to him. He's a competitor. I think somebody was saying, is he an enemy? He's not my enemy. Is he a friend? No, I don't know him well enough. But the couple of times that I've gotten to meet him, we got along very well. You saw that.
I hope we get along well. I think we get along well. But, ultimately, he's a competitor. He's representing Russia. I'm representing the United States. So, in a sense, we're competitors. It's not a question of friend or enemy. He's not my enemy. And hopefully someday maybe he'll be a friend. It could happen. But I don't -- I just don't know him very well. I met him a couple of times. And when I did meet him most of you people were there.
QUESTION: On Brexit -- sorry, sir, because you are going to the U.K., what will be your message on Brexit?
TRUMP: Well, Brexit is, you know, I've been reading a lot about Brexit over the last couple of days and it seems to be turning a little bit differently where they're getting at least partially involved back with the European Union.
[06:45:12] I have no message. It's not for me to say. I own a lot of property there. And I'm going to Scotland while I wait for the meeting. I have Turnberry in Scotland, which is a magical place. One of my favorite places. I'm going there for two days while I wait for the Monday meeting. But it's not for me to say what they should be doing in the U.K.
I have great friendships. My mother was born in Scotland. I have great friendships over there. We have a wonderful ambassador, Woody Johnson, and he's doing a -- by the way, Woody's doing a great job. But it's not for me to say. I'd like to see them be able to work it out so it could go quickly, whatever they work out.
TRUMP: Is it heartbreaking? QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE).
TRUMP: Oh, hard Brexit, I see.
TRUMP: I thought you said it was heartbreaking.
TRUMP: I said, that might be going a little bit too far, right? Heartbreak. Is it heartbreaking? A lot of things are heartbreaking.
No, I would -- I would say that, you know, Brexit is Brexit. It's not like -- I guess when you -- when you use the term hard Brexit, I assume that's what you mean. The people voted to break it up. So I would imagine that's what they'll do. But maybe they'll take it a little bit of a different route. So I don't know if that's what they voted for.
I just want the people to be happy. And they're great people. And I do think I have -- sure, there will be protests, because there are always protests, but I think there -- there were protests the night of the election both ways. But, in the end, we've got a, you know, 206 electoral -- 306 electoral votes. And one state said -- you know, it was interesting, one of the states we won, Wisconsin. I didn't even realize this until fairly recently, that was the one state that Ronald Reagan didn't win when he ran the board his second time. He didn't win Wisconsin. And we won Wisconsin. So, you know, we had a -- we had a great night.
Protests. There might be protests. But I believe that the people in the U.K., Scotland, Ireland -- as you know I have property in Ireland, I have property all over -- I think that those people, they like me allot and they agree with me on immigration. And I think that's why you have Brexit in the first place, because of immigration.
TRUMP: Yes, go ahead.
QUESTION: Coretta Carwell (ph) from Finland.
What would be the best deal with Putin when you come to Helsinki? And don't you think that your harsh (ph) diplomacy, that you are playing the same goal -- to the same goal that Putin with your harsh diplomacy towards E.U. and NATO?
TRUMP: Well, I -- you know, I can't tell you what would be the ultimate -- what would be the ultimate? Well, let's see, no more nuclear weapons anywhere in the world would be the ultimate, OK? No more wars. No more problems. No more conflicts. Let's find a cure to every diseases known to mankind or womankind. That would be my ultimate, OK, and we'll start from there. OK. Yes, go ahead.
TRUMP: Go ahead.
QUESTION: There's a -- (INAUDIBLE) from Afghan Service in (INAUDIBLE) Service.
So I would like to ask you, Mr. President, that Afghan president is going to be here.
TRUMP: He's here right now.
TRUMP: He's here.
QUESTION: No, is here, and are you going to meet him and what are you going to --
QUESTION: Say to him?
QUESTION: And when the war is going to end in Afghanistan because people are fed up now and they want to know.
TRUMP: I agree with that. I very much agree. It's been going on for a long time. And we're making a lot of progress, but it's been going on for a long time. We've made a lot of progress in Afghanistan, I will say.
Yes, your president is here right now. In fact, he's in the room. And when I'm finished with this, I'm going right back into that room.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) last question, please, please.
Mr. President, can you tell us what you think about future membership of Georgia in NATO, please.
TRUMP: Well, at a certain point, they'll have a chance. Not right now. They just left the room. But at a certain point they'll have a chance.
Yes, sir, go ahead.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) reporter for (INAUDIBLE) 24.
Are you going to continue to support the Kurdish forces, Peshmerga in Iraq? Thank you.
TRUMP: I think the Kurds are great people. They're incredible fighters. They're wonderful, warm, intelligent allies in many cases, as you know. It's different groups of people. But they're great people. I do, I believe they're great people.
Yes, go ahead, please.
QUESTION: Mr. President, Marcus Price (ph) working with AID (ph) German TV.
QUESTION: You said Putin isn't a -- isn't an enemy, isn't a friend. He's just a competitor.
TRUMP: A competitor.
QUESTION: Do you consider him as a security threat for Europe or to the U.S.? Thank you.
TRUMP: Hey, I don't want him to be, and that's, I guess, why we have NATO. And that's why we have a United States that just had the largest military budget ever, $700 billion, approved. $716 billion next year.
[06:50:02] No, I -- I hope that we'll be able to get along. I've said from day one, whether it's China or Russia, you know, we're working on trade with China right now. And I don't see -- that's an easy situation because that's been years of abuse of the United States, by presidents, frankly, that allowed that to happen. So I've taken over a lot of bad hands and I'm fixing each one of them and I'm fixing them well.
But China is going to be, I think, very successfully ultimately taken care of. I have a great respect for their president, as you know, President Xi. I spent two days there. It was among the most magical two days I've ever lived. And I think we're going to end up doing something very good with China. Right now we're in a pretty nasty trade battle, but I think ultimately that will work out. I really think we have a big advantage.
You know, we picked up $8 trillion in value and worth since I became president. And we're close to two times the size of China. A lot of people don't know that. And, you know, we're going to negotiate a fair deal if that's possible.
OK. And Russia -- Russia -- I think getting along with Russia also would be a very good thing.
Yes, go ahead.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) from BBC Persian TV.
We have seen escalation of tension between you and the Iranians. What is your exit plan, Mr. President?
TRUMP: I would say there might be an escalation between us and the Iranians. I agree with that.
QUESTION: But that they are threatening --
TRUMP: By the way, they're treating us with much more respect right now than they did in the past. And I think -- I know they're having a lot of problems and their economy is collapsing. But I will tell you this, at a certain point they're going to call me and they're going to say, let's make a deal. And we'll make a deal. But they are --
QUESTION: But that's --
TRUMP: They're feeling a lot of pain right now.
Yes, go ahead. Go ahead. Go ahead. Go ahead.
QUESTION: Mr. President, do we expect the rise of the Russian influence in Macedonia following the starting of negotiation process, like we've seen in Montenegro with (INAUDIBLE)? And what will NATO and the United States do to counter that Russian influence in the Western Balkans. Thank you.
TRUMP: We never talk about our future plans.
Yes, go ahead, ma'am. Go ahead. Go ahead.
QUESTION: Thank you very much.
Mr. President, thank you very much. My name is (INAUDIBLE) from (INAUDIBLE) TV from Kurdistan, Iraq.
My question is about the government of Iraq. You know, after two months, elections, the government in Iraq has not been (INAUDIBLE). What the role from USA and you want to talk about Syria in -- with President Putin? Can (INAUDIBLE) have any information about (INAUDIBLE) in Syria. Thank you very much.
TRUMP: So I hope we get along well with Iraq. We've certainly spent a great fortune in Iraq and many, many lives, thousands and -- hundreds of thousands of lives if you think on both sides, which I always think about both sides, not just our side.
And they had an election. And I hope we're going to be able to get along. And we'll see how that goes. We've already been talking to the people that won the election. I was not in favor of that war. I was very much against that war. I never thought it was a good thing. But that's another deck of cards that I inherited and we'll do the best we can with it.
I think the election was pretty conclusive and, again, we've spoken to them. We'll see what happens.
Yes, sir, go ahead. Go ahead.
QUESTION: Due to the next event, we have time for one more question.
QUESTION: I'm (INAUDIBLE) from (INAUDIBLE) newspaper in Tunisia. I come from a very far country, a small country in norther Africa, Tunisia. My question, Mr. President, you are -- we really admire what you are
doing in North Africa and we really wish and hope that something again will be done in the Middle East to avoid people -- more wars and more blood and more killings in the Middle East with just peace process that keeps everyone its --
TRUMP: We're looking for peace. In Africa, as you know, it's (INAUDIBLE) very strong list. But we're looking for peace. We want peace all over. We want to solve problems. We're looking for peace. Africa, right now, has got problems like few people will even understand. They have things going on there that nobody could believe in this room. If you saw some of the things that I see through intelligence, what's going on in Africa, it is so sad, and so vicious and violent. And we want peace -- we want peace for Africa. We want peace all over the world. That's my number one goal, peace all over the world.
And we're building up a tremendous military because I really believe through strength you get -- you get peace. But we're going to have a military like we've never had before. We've given orders for, you know, the best fighter jets in the world, the best ships, the best everything. But hopefully we'll never have to use them. That would be a dream. To buy the best stuff, to have the best stuff, to have the best equipment in the world and to never have to use it would be a really great part of my dream.
[06:55:04] Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you.
I'm going to be going -- leaving in about half an hour. Thank you.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump wrapping up about a 40 minute news conference in Brussels, on his way to London, where I am sitting right now. A fascinating moment in international history there. The president finishing up a two day meeting with NATO leaders. These are America's greatest allies. And what we saw just there was President Trump declaring victory over them, suggesting that he pushed NATO leaders to spend more on their own defense, calling this a wildly successful NATO meeting.
There's a lot to discuss, a lot of statements he made. We will dissect every part of it.
But let's start with the big headline. Joining me now, Alastair Campbell, he was director of communications for former Prime Minister Tony Blair, here in the U.K. Also joining us, CNN national security analyst Michael Hayden. He was director of the NSA and CIA. CNN global affairs analyst Max Boot. CNN international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson with us. Also Kaitlan Collins, who covers the White House.
Nic, I want to start with you.
The context for this news conference the president just gave is that European leaders, NATO leaders who had been part of these emergency meetings over the last several hours in Brussels, have been saying that the president outright threatened them, suggesting the United States was willing to, quote, do his own thing, if these other NATO countries did not spend more on defense. The president, in this news conference, says he won the commitments he was looking for. The president said that every NATO leader will tell you -- ask anybody he says -- these were successful meetings.
I'm asking you, Nic Robertson, do the other NATO leaders consider these last 24 hours in Brussels successful?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: They're going to consider them hugely disruptive. They're going to consider them consumptive of time. They're going to consider them diversionary (ph) from some of the key issues that NATO has to talk about here, that they planned to talk about, important issues. It's hard to get all these leaders together. So they're going to be frustrated that President Trump has come in as a disrupter. And President Trump, in his own words here, has not been able to spell out any specific change to what NATO leaders would ready agree to. He, again, used that figure of 4.2 percent of U.S. GDP contributing to defense spending. That is been challenged. That's believed to be closer to 3.57 percent. So there's going to be a feeling that President Trump is mixing up details that they would feel that he should be more familiar with, that he is wasting their time, and that he's putting undo pressure on them.
Now, we will hear later from these leaders. We will, obviously, get more detail. He did say that the U.N. secretary -- the NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, would give us a further update on some of the figures. But we've known and seen before how President Trump -- and these leaders will have seen it too -- uses language that at the best is ambiguous and often overstates what he has achieved. This requires a lot further scrutiny.
BERMAN: All right, we are -- we just watched the president leave, depart moments ago. His motorcade leaving for the airport. He will fly here to London from Brussels.
The president claimed that NATO leaders committed an additional $30 billion to $35 billion, I believe, in defense spending over the next several years. The president also said incorrectly that the United States spends 90 percent of the NATO defense budget. That is not true. The U.S. defense spending constitutes somewhere around 67 or 68 percent of the defense spending from NATO nations.
Alastair Campbell is here with me in London. He did, we believe, get some concessions in the sense that European leaders, NATO leaders, are going to spend more on defense. That was the president's main goal. He just declared victory there.
You've been communicating, you know, with leaders around Europe. How is this moment being received, Allister?
ALASTAIR CAMPBELL, FORMER DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS FOR TONY BLAIR: I mean let's just see what they all say. I suspect that he's gone in there, he's clearly kind of thrown his weight around, which is his way of working. I understand already that some of them are ready to contradict some of the things that he's -- that he's said there. And I think there is a feeling of this kind of, you know, bullying, intimidating manner, it may give him the strength and the presence to go out there and command the stage there, as he's done, to get, as it were, his interpretation out there first and to make people feel that they're on defensive.
But I just go back to the point I made before his press conference, is this the best way to build alliances, or is he actually trying to fracture those alliances? And so, look, I think he's -- as I said, I think he does have a point. He has a point about European defense spending. He has a point about -- about the other NATO allies. But is this the best way ultimately to deal with it.
And I think you saw as well that he does feel much more at ease in the way that he talks about Vladimir Putin than he does say about some of the -- some of the European allies -- western European allies.
[07:00:02] I thought, by the way, it was interesting as well that on Brexit, he did seem to be kind of dialing down a bit.
BERMAN: He dialed down a lot. There was a moment of restraint there. He said, it's not for me to decide.
BERMAN: We'll have a chance to talk about that more in just a moment.
Michael Hayden with us as well.