Donald Trump tells North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to double their defense spending

Trump Germany held captive by Russia

Trump Germany held captive by Russia

Trump said Germany's closure of coal and nuclear power plants on environmental grounds had increased its dependence, like much of the rest of Europe, on Russian gas. Must pay 2 per cent of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025.

But for the USA president to say "Germany is a captive nation of Russian Federation, that's just a gross insult to [German Chancellor Angela Merkel ] and the German people", Nicholas Burns told CNBC on Wednesday.

The tone of their remarks contrasted with an earlier breakfast between Trump and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief Jens Stoltenberg, when the Republican president said Germany's reliance on Russian energy left it "in the control" of Moscow and Merkel later referred to her youth in Soviet-run East Germany to insist Berlin was now fully sovereign.

"The alliance is very important and I think there's ways of communicating our displeasure with things without trying to insult and break the alliance apart", said Corker.

The president's critics have accused him of ignoring US barriers to foreign products, and of seeking a tariff-fueled trade war with the Europeans (and the Chinese) that will undermine economies worldwide.

Trump has long complained that European NATO members do not pay enough for their own defence, accusing them of freeloading on America and singling out Germany for particular criticism. "There is no break-up between United States and Europe", the source said after Macron & Trump held "friendly" talks.

However, his comment that "Germany is totally controlled by Russia because they are getting 60 to 70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline" appeared to misstate German energy use - about 20 percent of which is accounted for by oil and gas imports from Russia.

Hannity pointed out that Germany is spending billions of dollars on an energy pipeline between them and Russian Federation, and that the country's former chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, is the one leading the business effort.

In the photo were: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump, and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Merkel, for her part, called the two nations "good partners" and said "we wish to continue to cooperate in the future".

Trump told reporters during brief remarks at the end of the meeting that the two had a "very, very good relationship" and congratulated Merkel on her "tremendous success".

"I don't understand why Germany would be so in favor of supporting that particular supply source instead of diversifying", said Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The tough rhetoric against a core ally comes just days before Trump is set to meet one-on-one with Putin in Finland. Moreover, he displays a woeful ignorance of the work his predecessor's administration did to increase European defense spending.

Former secretary of state John Kerry blasted President Trump's criticism of Germany in a lengthy statement on Wednesday morning as "strange", "counterproductive", and "disgraceful".

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