“Denmark is only at 1.35% of GDP for NATO spending,” Trump wrote in a tweet. “They are a wealthy country and should be at 2%. We protect Europe and yet, only 8 of the 28 NATO countries are at the 2% mark. The United States is at a much, much higher level than that.”
Trump also said he was able to get the countries to agree to pay “one hundred billion dollars more,” but still said that sum is “way short” of what they should be contributing.
“Because of me, these countries have agreed to pay ONE HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS more - but still way short of what they should pay for the incredible military protection provided. Sorry!” he tweeted.
The U.S. currently spends 3.26 percent of its GDP on NATO defense spending. There has been a push for other European countries to reach the 2 percent threshold. However, countries like France, Germany, Italy and Spain all spend less.
Trump’s criticism of Denmark comes a day after he canceled a scheduled visit to the country following Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen calling the president’s idea of purchasing Greenland “absurd.” Trump told reporters outside the White House Wednesday that Frederiksen’s comment was “nasty.”
But Trump isn’t the first U.S. president to consider purchasing the semi-autonomous territory owned by Denmark. Harry Truman offered $100 million in gold to buy Greenland in 1946.
Currently, the U.S. maintains a military airbase – Thule Air Force Base – which was built in 1952 as a refueling stop for aircraft participating in long-range bombing missions.