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Germany ‘totally controlled by Russia,’ Trump tells North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief

12 July 2018

In a tweet today after a day of meetings, in which he lashed out at allies for insufficient defense spending, Trump calls on member nations to immediately boost spending.

The alliance set a goal in 2014 for each country to reach the 2% of GDP spending target by 2024.

A White House spokeswoman said his remarks came as he was urging leaders to increase their outlays on defence and were not a formal proposal. "I want to compliment the secretary general, he's worked very hard on this problem".

Striking a strident tone at the summit, Trump's aspirational target of 4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) was above the United States own spending on defense. "Europe's borders are BAD!"

Asked about Mr Trump's suggestion, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said he would focus on what has been agreed to. This has nothing to do with the "back-pay" Trump has alluded to other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations owing the US, most notably, Germany.

President Donald Trump branded Germany a "captive of Russia" for its support of a Baltic Sea gas pipeline deal this morning (July 11). Germany's leadership has said the pipeline is a private business decision and they have been reluctant to interfere. "That is very good, especially for people in eastern Germany".

"I am very happy that today we are united in freedom, the Federal Republic of Germany", Merkel added. "Because of that we can say that we can make our independent policies and make independent decisions".

Sen. Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, also criticized Trump's rhetoric.

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He called Kavanaugh "a man of impeccable credentials and character" and expressed confidence that the Senate will confirm him. While declining to give his personal views on the matter, Kavanaugh has already said when he was confirmed to the D.C.

Trump's decision to meet Putin was widely regarded as a blow to the prime minister's attempts to isolate Russian Federation following the Salisbury attack in March, even though he had strongly condemned the Kremlin's actions at the time.

STOLTENBERG: "It's also because of your leadership, because of your carried message". "I think that two world wars and the Cold War taught us that we are stronger together than apart", he told the president, trying to calm tensions.

While the United States and Europe have historically been close military and economic allies, President Donald Trump has upended that order by repeatedly taking Europe to task over defense spending and trade while pursuing a closer USA relationship with adversary Russian President Vladimir Putin. Chief of Staff John Kelly jerked his head away as US Ambassador to Nato Kay Bailey Hutchison looked up at the ceiling.

Stoltenberg estimated European allies and Canada will add $266 billion to their military spending by 2024 and said, "this is really adding some extra momentum", apparently meaning Trump's pressure. "And it can't be explained, and you know that".

Trump's criticism set off immediate anxiety in Germany. Munich's Süddeutsche Zeitung headlined its story: "It is not only bad, it is catastrophic".

Ryan said he shared Trump's concerns over a Russian natural gas pipeline and Germany's spending on defense.

That means that if Trump really wants to pull out of USA commitments here, he's going to have to take several steps.

When it was her turn to address reporters in the room for the meeting with Trump, Merkel made no similar declaration about her relationship with Trump.

Germany ‘totally controlled by Russia,’ Trump tells North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief