President Donald Trump has often criticized America\u2019s European allies for not paying their share to NATO. But the nations are \u201cstepping up,\u201d even if they haven\u2019t yet reached their target contribution to the military alliance, U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison told PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff on Monday.\n\u201cThe United States is spending far more on NATO than any other Country,\u201d the president tweeted on Monday, ahead of his appearance at the alliance\u2019s summit this week in Belgium.\n\nThe United States is spending far more on NATO than any other Country. This is not fair, nor is it acceptable. While these countries have been increasing their contributions since I took office, they must do much more. Germany is at 1%, the U.S. is at 4%, and NATO benefits…….\n— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2018\n\n\u201cBy some accounts, the U.S. is paying for 90% of NATO, with many countries nowhere close to their 2% commitment,\u201d he said in a tweet.\n\n…Europe far more than it does the U.S. By some accounts, the U.S. is paying for 90% of NATO, with many countries nowhere close to their 2% commitment. On top of this the European Union has a Trade Surplus of $151 Million with the U.S., with big Trade Barriers on U.S. goods. NO!\n— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2018\n\nWhen asked about the president\u2019s tweets, Hutchison said the U.S. portion of NATO\u2019s common funding is capped at 22 percent, but that the U.S. contributes to other security costs in Europe, where it has military and diplomatic presence. \u201cSo I don\u2019t know exactly what he is putting together in that \u2026 but I know that there are many different areas where we are a dual purpose,\u201d she said.\nEach country in NATO has pledged to spend 2 percent of their respective GDPs on defense support.\n\u201cCertainly, the president has been very plainspoken about asking our allies to do more,\u201d Hutchison said from Brussels, noting that other former presidents, including Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, did the same.\n\u201cI believe that [the European NATO members] are stepping up. It’s not as much as 2 percent yet, but I think they will recommit more to do more because they realize that Europe does need to do more and they are the strongest of the economies in Europe,\u201d Hutchison added.\nOther highlights from the interview:\n\nOn Russian President Vladimir Putin: Hutchison said she wouldn\u2019t describe Putin in the complimentary terms Trump uses, but that it\u2019s not unusual for NATO countries to meet with Putin in the interest of dialogue. Trump is planning a one-on-one meeting with Putin in Finland on July 16, following the NATO summit. Russia is not a member of NATO. \u201c[Trump] is going to talk to Russia, to Putin about his malign influence in so many areas,\u201d she said. \u201cI think what the president is trying to do is sit down with him and say \u2018you need to come in a different direction. You are not behaving like a leader in the world, and we need you to do differently, to do better.\u2019\u201d\nOn Ukraine: NATO members believe Ukraine is a sovereign nation that should have the ability to rule itself and have its own government, Hutchison said. \u201cAnd we’ve been encouraging Ukraine at every level, at NATO and in the United States, to reform its government to give the power to the people to have a rule of law. And I think that all of us in NATO are united in backing Ukraine for its reforms and to be able to get the Russian encroachment on Ukraine reversed.\u201d\nOn Crimea: Trump has increased the U.S. military presence in Europe after the \u201cannexation illegally of Crimea by Russia,\u201d Hutchison said. Russia is \u201ctrying to split our alliance,\u201d but \u201cit is too strong,\u201d she added.