Trump Accuses Germany Of Being 'Totally Controlled' By Russia

Blanche Robertson
July 12, 2018

The President said: "We are supposed to be guarding against Russian Federation and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russian Federation".

"It certainly doesn't seem to make sense that they pay billions of dollars to Russia, and now we have to defend them against Russia", Trump said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel insists the project is a private commercial venture.

Trump has spent weeks berating members of the alliance for failing to spend enough of their money on defense, accusing Europe of freeloading off the USA and raising doubts about whether he would come to members' defense if they were ever attacked.

"I think it's fair to say that here in my office the team recognized what was coming and the importance of speaking out on it from my perspective and from the district's perspective", Curtis told Fox 13.

Burns, a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, said, "Trump is right to push this issue of defense budgets because Europeans do need to spend more, particularly Germany, on their national defense".

Democratic congressional leaders issued a rare joint statement harshly condemning Trump's remarks. Germans wouldn't agree with that.

"[Russia is] trying to sneak offshore, go through the Baltic Sea, come on shore in Germany, not get caught bribing governments or the European Union to get the pipeline over land", he said.

"Now is not the time" to be alienating allies, he said.

While it's true that only a handful of the 28 member countries now spend 2 percent or more of their GDP on defense, a 2014 agreement gave all of them a decade to get to the 2 percent level.

"If you look at it, Germany is a captive of Russian Federation because they supply", he continued.

"Instead, President Trump just insults friends who have sacrificed to hold that pressure together".

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"We are having a great meeting, discussing military expenditure". American officials say the U.S.is itself short of that mark, spending 3.3 percent of its GDP on defense.

Merkel, for her part, called the two nations "good partners" and said "we wish to continue to cooperate in the future". A source close to Macron said Trump had voiced his "personal attachment" to Europe and gave "rather positive and constructive messages" to his allies.

This week's two-day summit, beginning on Wednesday at Nato's new headquarters in the Belgian capital, is expected to be dominated by USA demands for increased spending by other members of the 29-nation alliance.

"Because we understand that when we stand together, also in dealing with Russian Federation, we are stronger", Stoltenberg said. Because of me, they've raised about $40bn over the past year.

The comments come amid wide expectations of a turbulent summit-Trump has long criticized the 29-member alliance, calling it "obsolete", and is extremely critical of countries that are failing to meet the target of 2% of their GDP as defense spending.

That's not how the spending works.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation estimates that 15 members, or just over half, will meet the benchmark by 2024 based on current trends. He also called Brussels a "hell hole" and "a mess".

The defense minister agreed with Trump about defense spending.

The organization is asking all member states spend a minimum 2 percent of their GDP on defensive measures by 2024.

The US president accused Germany of only spending "a little bit over 1 percent" of its economic output on defence compared to the 4.2 percent spent by the US "in actual numbers". "He may be the only one, but that's OK with me". Opponents state that Trump is furthering Putin's agenda to break up the Western alliance.

Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrived in Belgium Tuesday for the summit, ahead of meetings later this week with British Prime Minister Theresa May in Britain and Vladimir Putin in Finland.

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