John Kelly looked upset at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit over breakfast options

Toru Hanai  Reuters

He later called on the alliance's members to increase their gross domestic product (GDP) spending on defense from a commitment of 2 percent to 4 percent, though the US spent only 3.6 percent of its GDP on defense past year.

American officials say the U.S.is itself short of that mark, spending 3.3 percent of its GDP on defense.

"And then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they're paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia", Trump said.

"All NATO Nations must meet their 2% commitment, and that must ultimately go to 4%!"

Mr Stoltenberg declined to answer a specific question about Mr Trump's remarks, but told reporters: "I think we should first get to 2 percent, focus on that now. the good thing is that we are moving to that".

The US president accused Germany of only spending "a little bit over 1 percent" of its economic output on defence compared to the 4.2 percent spent by the US "in actual numbers".

The Brussels meeting comes less than a week before Mr Trump is due to hold his first summit with Vladimir Putin, in Helsinki, reviving concerns among USA allies over his proximity to the Russian president.

"We have a very, very good relationship with the chancellor".

Instead, a series of events - a black-tie dinner with business leaders, a meeting with May and an audience with Queen Elizabeth II - will happen outside the bustling city, where Mayor Sadiq Khan has been in a verbal battle with Trump. I think that's very inappropriate.

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Macron and Putin talk regularly on the phone and have hosted each other for summit meetings in the a year ago, but they have found little common ground on issues such as the Syrian civil war and conflict in Ukraine.

Reporters there noted that Kelly looked fairly uncomfortable as Trump made the comments.

Trump, in a testy exchange with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, took issue with the USA protecting Germany as it strikes deals with Russian Federation.

He added: "NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS".

Stoltenberg later said Trump had "very direct language" but "when it comes to the core message we actually all agree... we have to share the burden more fairly".

Trump's dramatic exchange with Stoltenberg set the tone for what was already expected to be a tense day of meetings with leaders of the military alliance as Trump presses jittery North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies about their military spending. "So we're going to have a meeting on that", Trump said, describing the situation as "disproportionate and not fair to the taxpayers of the United States".

The defense minister agreed with Trump about defense spending.

Mr Trump, who landed in Belgium during the middle of the football-mad nation's World Cup semi-final match, will later head to London, where Prime Minister Theresa May's government is in turmoil over her plans for exiting the European Union.

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