A war of words has erupted on the eve of President Trump's trip to the NATO summit in Belgium, with one of the most powerful figures in the EU telling America: "Appreciate your allies, after all you don't have that many." Trump reignited his repeated criticism of NATO and the spending of European countries on defense Tuesday morning, writing: "Getting ready to leave for Europe. First meeting—NATO. The U.S. is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them. Not fair to the U.S. taxpayer." Donald Tusk, the President of the powerful European Council, then directly addressed Trump after signing an EU-NATO joint declaration. He said Trump had "for a long time now has been criticising Europe almost daily," and told the President: "Europeans spend on defence many times more than Russia, and as much as China. And I think you can have no doubt, Mr President, that this is an investment in common American and European defence and security. Which can't be said with confidence about Russian or Chinese spending." Tusk went on to urge Trump to stop criticizing his European allies, saying: "Dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don't have that many. And, dear Europe, spend more on your defence, because everyone respects an ally that is well-prepared and equipped."