Merkel fires back at Trump, says Germany is ‘independent’

Trump Slams Germany as Being a 'Captive' to Russia Ahead of NATO Summit

"We're supposed to protect you against Russian Federation but they're paying billions of dollars to Russian Federation and I think that's very inappropriate". He also alluded to "other countries" with trade barriers against the U.S.in his criticism. Rather, they have committed to raise their own defense budgets to 2 percent of gross domestic product by 2024.

A White House spokeswoman said his remarks came as he was urging leaders to increase their outlays on defense and were not a formal proposal.

It was just the latest in Trump's demands and insults that critics fear will undermine a decades-old alliance launched to counter-balance Soviet aggression after World War II.

Germany is totally controlled by Russia, Trump said. Not even the USA pays that much, according to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which says the US paid 3.57 percent of GDP towards defense in 2017.

Trump, meeting reporters with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, before a NATO summit in Brussels, said it was "very inappropriate" that the United States was paying for European defense against Russian Federation while Germany, the biggest European economy, was supporting gas deals with Moscow.

"The United States is paying far too much and other countries are not paying enough, especially some".

"This has gone on for many presidents".

The U.S. president has lambasted U.S. allies for routinely failing to meet a 2 percent goal, a much lower standard that their nations agreed upon before he took office.

On Tuesday he tweeted: "NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS".

"We're protecting Germany, we're protecting France, we're protecting all of these countries".

In an interview on "Wolf" with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday, Menendez, who is the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, brought up his concerns about the upcoming summit and how he views the President's attitude towards it.

"I think once the trend started changing in 2014, that created momentum even before he became president", says American University's Martin.

"Germany is just paying a little bit over 1 percent, whereas the United States in actual numbers is paying 4.2 percent."
"I think it's not".

"So we are going to have a meeting on that and the Secretary General has worked very hard on that and he understands the problem. And I think that leaders are also looking forward to your thoughts about the meeting with President Putin later on". Because of that we can say that we can make our independent policies and make independent decisions. "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".

The increased spending predates Trump.

And he said: "Dear America, appreciate your allies - after all you don't have that many".

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