A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Video: FactChecking Trump’s NATO Claims


In this video, CNN’s Jake Tapper looks at some of the false and misleading statements that President Donald Trump made at a press conference after the NATO summit in Brussels.

Trump wrongly claimed that the United States is paying as much as 90 percent of the cost of operating the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. In reality, the U.S. share of the commonly funded NATO budget is currently just over 22 percent, according to the most recent figures from NATO.

The president also claimed that the U.S. defense budget is 4.2 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. It hasn’t been above 4 percent since fiscal year 2012, according to the Defense Department and the White House Office of Management and Budget. The Defense Department said it was 3.1 percent this year, while NATO estimates it is 3.5 percent “according to an agreed definition of defence expenditure.”

Trump also again got his election history wrong when he said that Ronald Reagan lost Wisconsin in 1984 — which was the year that Reagan won every state except Minnesota, the home of his Democratic opponent, Walter Mondale. 

For more about these claims, please see our articles, “Trump Still Distorting NATO Spending,” “Trump’s Defense Spending Exaggerations” and “Trump Wrong About Wisconsin Election Results.” This fact-checking video is based on those stories. It is part of our fact-checking collaboration with CNN’s “State of the Union.” Previous videos can be found on our website.