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Trump says added North Atlantic Treaty Organisation funds not enough for U.S.

12 July 2018

'The paying for Europe's protection, then loses billions on Trade.

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".

Drawing on her own background, German Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed back sharply, insisting that Germany makes its own decisions.

Trump also prepared to make a previously unscheduled public statement, the White House said.

The Reuters sources said Mr. Trump did not go as far as to threaten to pull the United States out of the transatlantic defense alliance - as some European organizations reported - but officials told the Associated Press that his demands for increased national defense spending were enough to prompt North Atlantic Treaty Organisation officials to declare an emergency session in Brussels on Thursday. The organization is asking all member states spend a minimum 2 percent of their GDP on defensive measures by 2024.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Donald Trump talk during a family photo ahead of the opening ceremony of the NATO summit, at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, on July 11, 2018. "They're delinquent, as far as I'm concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them". "But no other president brought it up like I bring it's an unfair burden on the United States".

Stoltenberg agreed there should be more done to prompt allies to invest more in their defense. "Germany should be committing 2 percent to defense like they agreed to at the Wales conference".

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During a working breakfast that marked the start of the summit, Trump said Germany was "controlled by Russian Federation", citing an energy partnership between the two countries. "This has been going on for decades, for decades and it's disproportionate and not fair to the taxpayers of the United States and we're gonna make it fair". "So I think that's inappropriate also", Trump claimed.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he thinks the president is "right about Germany buying gas from the Russians, that's counterproductive".

"He was in a good mood, he said Europe was a continent he appreciated", Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel told reporters.

His comment that Germany was controlled by Russian Federation earned a rebuke from Berlin.

"I am very happy that today we are united in freedom, the Federal Republic of Germany", Merkel added. "Where energy supply is concerned, we diversify, but the main overarching topic is the summit - we want a summit that sends out the message of unity".

In his remarks, that outraged many in the U.S. and upset his European allies, Trump said that countries like Germany depended too much on Russian gas for their energy supplies. "We're protecting everybody. And yet we're paying a lot of money to protect". "On that point the American friends have a point", von der Leyen said.

Trump says added North Atlantic Treaty Organisation funds not enough for U.S.