President-elect Donald Trump on Friday spoke to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg by phone and indicated he’s committed to maintaining the alliance.
“The President-elect and the Secretary General both underlined NATO’s enduring importance, and discussed how NATO is adapting to the new security environment, including to counter the threat of terrorism,” NATO said in a statement.
NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization -- a major strategic and military alliance.
Stoltenberg thanked Trump for discussing the issue of defense spending on the campaign trail, the statement added, and both appeared to agree that NATO members need to chip in more.
“The two leaders agreed that progress has been made on fairer burden-sharing, but that there is more to do,” it said.
He tweeted about their phone call.
The phone call comes the same day that the president-elect announced that he has appointed Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, as attorney general and Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kansas, as CIA director. On Thursday night, CBS News confirmed he has offered the job of national security adviser to retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
The nature of the phone call to NATO Friday comes after President Obama made clear twice this week that when they both privately met together at the White House last week, he made clear that he will maintain the U.S. commitment to NATO.
On the campaign trail, Trump made some remarks that raised eyebrows about his stance on NATO. He said, for example, that the U.S. should re-evaluate its participation in NATO and at a town hall in March, he said it was “costing us too much money.”
He also said at the town hall, “So I think we have to reconsider -- keep NATO, but maybe we have to pay a lot less toward the NATO itself. “