American presidents pressed for a long time their NATO counterparts to increase military spending. But Mr. Trump's insistence that other nations owe money wrongly enunciates how the alliance works, and the figures he cites are misleading.
( Our reporters verified the president's badertions about the financial relationship between the United States and other NATO countries. )
NATO has a budget to cover shared costs and some equipment used in joint operations, and the 29 member countries contribute to this. None of the allies has not paid their contribution.
Mr. Trump's complaint is that, although NATO member countries have agreed to spend at least 2 percent of their gross national products on military expenditures, most do not. But none has violated that agreement, because the 2 percent figure is an objective that will be reached by 2024.
According to NATO, all members have significantly increased military spending since 2014, and eight are expected to meet the objective this year.  Continue reading the main story
Mr. Trump tweeted on Monday that the United States represents 90 percent of the military spending of NATO countries, but the alliance says that the real figure is around 67 percent. And most of the US military spending is not related to NATO.
Even so, the organization says on its website: "There is an excessive dependence on the alliance in the United States for the provision of essential capabilities, including, for example, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, air-to-air refueling, ballistic missile defense, and airborne electronic warfare. "
– Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Steven Erlanger
Free Twitter zone? Trump finds a way
If Mr. Trump was in a bad mood when he joined the NATO meeting, his badistants and cautious allies found a source of consolation: not Twitter.
Cell phones are banned in the room where the 29 leaders meet, and NATO interrupts the signs in the building to prevent espionage and piracy. Then people did not expect Mr. Trump to have access to his favorite medium for at least a few hours.
Somehow, the president found a way to tweet.
When the opening meeting moved to a clbadified session on Wednesday, Mr. Trump sent messages about the trade war he had intensified by imposing tariffs on Chinese goods worth 200 billion dollars. He said he had acted in the name of American agriculture.
He continued on Twitter saying he would open things "better than ever, but can not go too fast". I am fighting for a level playing field for our farmers, and I will win! "
It was not clear if Mr. Trump violated the NATO non-meeting rule or if the tweet was sent by an badistant outside the courtroom, but one thing was certain: there is no way to maintain @realdonaldtrump on the part of his followers – Julie Hirschfeld Davis
A show of solidarity with Ukraine
NATO leaders will meet with their Ukrainian counterparts on Thursday to show their solidarity with Kiev, after the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, and in the face of Moscow's continued military support to the rebels in eastern Ukraine.
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The meeting is a clear reminder from the West of the principle that one nation should not violate the territorial integrity of another. The talks to resolve the dispute in Ukraine have stalled.
NATO leaders will also meet with Georgian leaders on Thursday, in a similar show of support for Tbilisi against Russia, which has occupied parts of the country since 2008.  Ukraine and Georgia will be invited to discuss its progress in security and defense reviews and its cooperation with NATO, but the long-delayed plans to join the alliance remain suspended. – Steven Erlanger
After NATO: Queen Isabel and Teresa May
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