Trump is to arrive in Britain Monday for the two-day summit, during which he is to hold several bilateral meetings with NATO heads of state, including French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
In a statement, the White House said Trump “looks forward” to the meetings where he will emphasize the need for NATO to beef up its resistance to “the threats of tomorrow,” including those in cyberspace.
However, the summit on Tuesday and Wednesday comes days before Britain heads to the polls on Dec. 12 and conservative politicians there are worried that Trump may influence the elections by offering his support of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has publicly said Trump should refrain from commenting on the elections while in London.
Trump, known as a Johnson supporter, has frequently voiced his opinion on British politics but a White House official said Friday that the U.S. president is “absolutely cognizant of not wadding into other countries’ elections.”
In October, Trump told Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage in a radio interview that Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, “would be so bad” for the country and that he and Johnson should join forces as they would be “unstoppable.”
Last week, in a local radio interview, Johnson seemingly suggested for Trump to stay mute while in London, stating that “when you have close friends and allies like the U.S. and the U.K., the best thing is for neither side to be involved in each other’s election campaign.”
Though no official meeting is scheduled for the two leaders, Judd Deere, special assistant to the president, said Saturday that they have talked and “look forward to meeting with one another” at the summit.
While Trump is away, however, at home House Democrats will be pushing forward with their impeachment inquiry as the House intelligence committee is expected on Monday to start reviewing a report on its investigation into accusations Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rival former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
On the day the summit closes, the Judiciary Committee, will hold its first public impeachment hearing, during which constitutional experts will testify on what is an impeachable offense.
In rejecting the Democrats’ offer for the White House to participate in the hearing, White House counsel to the president Pat Cipollone accused them of “purposely” scheduling the testimony for when Trump would be away, a comment the president had made days earlier.
“The Radical Left is undercutting our Country,” Trump said via Twitter. “Hearings scheduled on same dates as NATO!”
The meeting, which will mark the military bloc’s 70th anniversary, comes after it announced last Friday that member states agreed to a new formula for common funding that has the United States paying about 16 percent of its budget, a drop from the current 22 percent, and European members and Canada will see their spending increase by 4.6 percent.
Trump has argued for other nations to increase their share to NATO and in October, Trump bashed European nations for being “delinquent” on paying their required 2 percent of GDP.
“Only 8 percent of the 28 NATO countries are paying the 2 percent, meaning 20 of the countries are delinquent in the payment to NATO,” Trump said. “They have been for many years.”