NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg tells a conference he is certain U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will lead the military alliance. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION STORY: NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday (November 18) he was certain that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will lead the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and he is hoping to speak to Trump soon. Trump questioned during his election campaign whether the United States should protect allies that have low defense spending, raising fears that he could withdraw funding for the alliance at a time of greater tensions with Russia. "I am absolutely confident that President Trump will maintain American leadership in the alliance and will maintain a strong U.S. commitment to European security. That's important for Europe, but it's also important for the United States," Stoltenberg told a conference in Brussels, saying his team was seeking to set up a telephone call with the president-elect. Stoltenberg said he would tell Trump that increasing European defense spending was one of his top priorities and that he had raised it with every NATO member, winning support from defense ministers. He said the main obstacle was convincing the finance ministers who have the keys to treasuries. Trump's suggestion of making the United States' defense of its Western allies conditional appeared to question the central promise of NATO, that an armed attack against one ally is an attack against all.