The presidents statements came after he earlier backtracked on whether China should be labeled as a currency manipulator.
President Trump on Wednesday said NATO is “no longer obsolete,” a sharp reversal from what he said repeatedly during the election and his first weeks in office.
Evan Vucci / AP
“I said it was obsolete. It's no longer obsolete,” he said at a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
In January, Trump called the military alliance — credited with maintaining international stability for decades — “obsolete.” The president has repeatedly stated falsely that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was not combatting terrorism until he complained.
“I complained about that a long time ago, and they made a change, and now they do fight terrorism,” Trump claimed Wednesday.
The president appeared to be referring to NATO's creation of a new intelligence and security division, a reorganization last June aimed at better sharing intelligence among allies.
After Trump took credit for the “change,” Stoltenberg spoke on how NATO allies joined the US's fight against terrorism in Afghanistan following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
“Hundreds of thousands of European and Canadian soldiers have served shoulder-to-shoulder with American troops. More than 1,000 have paid the ultimate price,” he said.
Stoltenberg added that NATO should use its experience and resources to do more in the fight against terror, and he was committed to seeking an increase in defense spending among member nations.
Trump’s statements came after he earlier backtracked on whether China should be labeled as a currency manipulator.
Andrew Harnik / AP
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump said China hadn't manipulated its currency for months, and he now needed the country's support in standing against North Korea.
“They’re not currency manipulators,” Trump told the Journal.
On the campaign trail, Trump vowed to declare China a currency manipulator on Day 1 if he was elected president. The position was included in his official trade policy on his campaign website.