Mattis after Trump tweet: NATO doesn't track "past money owed"

Defense Secretary James Mattis said Wednesday that NATO does not calculate “past money owed” and Germany is on track to meet its alliance commitments, despite President Trump claiming that the country owed money.

“I cannot give you an accounting for past money owed, because that’s not the way we do that in NATO,” Mattis told the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee. “We do it through capabilities. That’s the commitment each nation makes.”

Mattis was responding to a question from Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) referencing tweets Trump sent over the weekend, in which he said that Germany owed money to NATO. The comments came a day after Trump met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Nevertheless, Germany owes … vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!” Trump wrote in a series of tweets.