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5 takeaways from Trump’s visit to Brussels

President Donald Trump arrives at the ancient Greek Theater during the Summit of the Heads of State and of Government of the G7, the group of most industrialized economies, plus the European Union, on May 26, 2017 in Taormina, Sicily.
Tiziana Fabi | AFP | Getty Images
President Donald Trump arrives at the ancient Greek Theater during the Summit of the Heads of State and of Government of the G7, the group of most industrialized economies, plus the European Union, on May 26, 2017 in Taormina, Sicily.

U.S. President Donald Trump's first state visit to Brussels was certainly one to remember. From pushing aside a prime minister to criticizing his allies for being unfair to U.S. taxpayers, here are five takeaways from the trip.

1. Trump can follow the script

The expectations in Brussels were that Trump would avoid being indiscreet and follow protocol. Indeed, he deviated from his previous lines on the European Union and avoided making controversial comments, both to the media and on his Twitter page.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker even joked at the end of a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron, saying "I hope he hasn't tweeted about me."

Nonetheless, this visit will be remembered by many for the moment when he pushed aside Montenegro Prime Minister Dusko Markovic at a NATO meeting.

A NATO official, who didn't want to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue, told CNBC "that pushing was awkward. Truly unnecessary."

2. Trump's comments on further NATO contributions were not a surprise

US President Donald Trump listens to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg's speech during the unveiling ceremony of the Berlin Wall monument, during the NATO summit
EMMANUEL DUNAND | AFP | Getty Images
US President Donald Trump listens to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg's speech during the unveiling ceremony of the Berlin Wall monument, during the NATO summit

One of the highlights of Trump's visit was his speech at the NATO headquarters. This was the first time he directly addressed his NATO allies after having made critical comments about the alliance during his presidential campaign.

Trump has complained several times that other NATO countries, including Germany, are not respecting the agreement on financial contributions.

"We should recognize that with these chronic underpayments and growing threats, even 2 percent of GDP (gross domestic product) is insufficient to close the gaps in modernizing, readiness and the size of forces. We have to make up for the many years lost," Trump said.

A source at NATO told CNBC on Thursday night: "It was totally expected."

3. Brexit worries Trump

There might be some irony in the detail that emerged from the meeting between Trump and the presidents of the European Commission and European Council.

Trump, who supported Britain's decision to leave the European Union, told European chiefs he is worried about the impact this might have on U.S. jobs.

4. The US and the EU do not see eye-to-eye on a number of issues

Trump and the EU have not been on the same page on a number of issues. And EU leaders didn't hide that this week.

"My feeling is that we agreed on many areas … But some issues remain open, like climate and trade," Donald Tusk, who represents the 28 leaders of the EU, told the meeting after meeting Trump.

"And I'm not 100 percent sure that we can say today - we means President Trump and myself - that we have a common position, a common opinion about Russia although when it comes to the conflict in Ukraine it seems that we were on the same line," he added.

The recently elected French President Emmanuel Macron also said: "In the center of the discussion was pragmatism. We don't necessarily interpret things in the same way, but we were able to speak very frankly."

5. Trump now definitely knows the difference between Tusk and Juncker

EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker (L) and EU Council President Donald Tusk.
JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images
EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker (L) and EU Council President Donald Tusk.

The level of complexity of European lawmaking is indeed tough to comprehend. Earlier this year Trump, then president-elect, reportedly mistook Jean-Claude Juncker for Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council.

At the time, Commission President Juncker denied the phone conversation saying that he had never spoken to Trump, with media reports stating that Trump had instead spoken to Tusk.

But, now that Trump has officially met both chiefs at the same time, the difference between the two - and this layer of many EU complexities - has been overcome.

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