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President Trump said meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin would be easier than visits with allies, ahead of leaving for his European tour.

In this context, Tusk and others seem concerned Putin will take advantage of the fact that Trump is not standing by key USA allies. "It's not a bad thing, I've said that many times". First of all, dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don't have that many. The Europeans abhor Trump's decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on a part of the world that is supposed to be the United States' partner.

Diplomats fear an acrimonious meeting could undermine efforts to show unity in the face of the growing threat on the alliance's eastern flank - particularly with Trump set to meet Putin in Helsinki a few days later.

"Those are stupid people", Trump said, according to the report; "you shouldn't listen to them".

"It will become increasingly hard to justify to American citizens why some countries continue to fail to meet our shared collective security commitments", Trump said in a letter addressed to Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg seen by Bloomberg News. New Poll says Trump, at over 90%, is the most popular Republican in history of the Party. Imports totalled $592 billion, leading to a $92 billion goods and services trade deficit with the European Union, according to the trade office's data. The EU did strike back with retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods. According to European Union statistics, the EU's trade surplus in 2017 was $140bn (€120bn; £106bn).

Defense spending among the 29 nations belonging to the transatlantic military alliance increased to an estimated 2.42% of gross domestic product (GDP), up from 2.4% in 2016, the organization said earlier this year.

"Russia should be in this meeting", Trump said in June.

United States jobs growth stronger than expected
Economists had forecast that employers added 195,000 payrolls last month, according to the median estimate compiled by Bloomberg. Workers who haven't gone to college accounted for all of this month's net increase in the labor force and employment.

Stoltenberg has stressed the alliance's ability to overcome differences in the past, but Tomas Valasek, director of the Carnegie Europe and former Slovak ambassador to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, said the situation with Trump had already undermined its ability to deter would-be aggressors.

He added: "Not fair to the USA taxpayer".

As European Council president, Tusk serves as the chairman when EU leaders meet at summits.

While NATO members increased overall defense spending in 2017, for a second consecutive year, the United States was still largely outspending all other members.

The NATO alliance has been critical to the US since its formation in 1949 when it was created in response to the Soviet Union. Gardner responded by flatly denying Trump actually meant what he said.

Defence secretary Tobias Ellwood told The Sunday Telegraph: 'Given the US's footprint in Europe and Putin's recent hostile actions much hinges on the outcome of the two summits'. The two are due to meet in Helsinki on July 16 following Mr Trump's visit to the United Kingdom at the end of the week.