US to leave NATO if members don't perform well, says senior Donald Trump staffer

Donald Trump does not have much patience for "lip service" and would pull out of NATO if its member countries do not make major efforts in combating terrorism and fulfil their financial commitment.

"He (Trump) is at a place now... he would like to stay in NATO. But he also is not going to stay in NATO if it doesn't make a lot more progress much quicker," a senior Trump administration official said on Wednesday, ahead of the NATO Summit in Brussels next week.

Trump will leave for a five-nation tour this week, during which he would attend the summit in Belgium.

File image of US president Donald Trump. Reuters

File image of US president Donald Trump. Reuters

In his meeting with NATO leaders, Trump would confer on the war in Afghanistan and the fight against Islamic State (IS).

White House press secretary Sean Spicer had on Tuesday said that the US president would like to see a greater effort placed on combating terrorism by the NATO countries and living up to their financial obligation that they had agreed upon.

"The one thing that he doesn't have patience for is kind of lip service. So people are telling him good things. NATO has stepped up a little bit more, but you know, we'll either see real changes toward NATO or we'll try to form a different way of going about things," the official said.

"So you'll see what he says when he's there (at the summit), but it's a very serious issue for him and it's a very serious issue for the American people because we don't want to be paying for everyone's defence and it's just not fair to the American taxpayers and it's not something that the president wants to see happen," the official said.

At the Brussels summit, Trump will talk about how "we really do need and want our partners in Europe to do more".

"America has borne the burden of that partnership for too long, and the Trump Administration is expecting everyone to step up. We want a strong relationship, but we want everyone else to do their share," the official said.

"There are some issues in the world that are America's problems and there are some issues that are the world's problems, and they're as much Canada's problems as they're America's problems as they're Germany's problems,"

"At the end of the day, we have to have a thoughtful discussion about how we go about doing it. But what I do know is that the president's view is that America should not be bearing the entire burden for everyone's security around the world," the official asserted.

Updated Date: May 18, 2017 06:30 AM

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