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Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - NEWS - — The As­so­ci­ated

Trump lands in Europe, says Putin ‘eas­i­est’ of his meet­ings

BRUS­SELS » With Europe’s wary eyes upon him, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump launched a week­long trip there on Tues­day with harsh crit­i­cism for NATO al­lies and pre­dicted the “eas­i­est” leg of his jour­ney would be his sched­uled sit­down with Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin.

As he de­parted the White House for a four-na­tion Euro­pean tour, Trump did lit­tle to re­as­sure al­lies fret­ting over the risk of dam­age he could do to the 69-year-old trans-At­lantic mu­tual de­fense pact and his po­ten­tial em­brace of Putin dur­ing a sum­mit in Helsinki.

Trump said Tues­day he “can’t say right now” if Putin is a friend or foe, but called him a “com­peti­tor.”

Trump ar­rived in Brus­sels on the eve of the NATO sum­mit af­ter re­peated at­tacks on the pact. He told re­porters in Wash­ing­ton be­fore leav­ing that “Frankly, it helps them a lot more than it helps us” and then later tweeted from Air Force One that he may de­mand re­im­burse­ments from the Euro­pean mem­ber nations.

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