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behind the scenes

Officials reportedly worked behind Trump's back to get NATO agreement done before his arrival

National Security Adviser John Bolton demanded that officials finalize the North Atlantic Treaty Organization agreement before President Trump arrived in Brussels for last month's NATO summit, U.S. and European officials told The New York Times.

In June, Bolton had Kay Bailey Hutchison, the American ambassador to NATO, let the other members know that Bolton wanted the communiqué completed before Trump landed in Europe, five officials said. In June, Trump refused to sign a joint communiqué with the other G7 leaders, and afraid that he might do the same thing in Brussels, all the NATO countries agreed to have the declaration finished by July 6 at 10 p.m. local time.

Two senior European officials told the Times that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis also wanted to avoid a repeat of the G7 fiasco, and the NATO declaration was finished ahead of schedule, establishing an Atlantic Command post and extending an invitation to Macedonia to join. When Trump did arrive in Brussels, he was shown only "broad outlines," not the entire 23-page document, the Times reports.