Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Schumer, Pelosi Slam Trump Over Germany Remarks: 'An Embarrassment'

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Julia Gonzales | 12 July, 2018, 03:43

US President Donald Trump insisted on Wednesday that he gets on well with Chancellor Angela Merkel, despite earlier savaging Germany's trade and defence policies.

TRUMP: "Frankly, many countries owe us a tremendous amount of money for many years back, where they're delinquent, as far as I'm concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them".

"I myself experienced that a part of Germany that was controlled by the Soviet Union, and I am very happy today that we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany", Merkel told reporters as she entered North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

"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.

"Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!", he tweeted last month before tearing into the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its former director James Comey.

Merkel replied by pointing out that Germany is one of the largest contributors of troops for NATO's missions.

Trump did not say 70 to 90 percent of what. The US pays 22.1% of these budgets, while Germany pays 14.8%, for example.

Trump has claimed on numerous occasions over the last week that the United States" more than 4 percent GDP contribution to the security of the group compared to its European allies is "very unfair' to the American taxpayer.

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

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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.

Moreover, Stoltenberg argued Wednesday that the USA military presence in Europe, through the 29-country alliance, gives it an advantage in dealing with Russian Federation and projecting power in the Middle East and Africa.

"In recent years we've seen Russian Federation stepping up its arms sales to Iran; shielding the Syrian regime's appalling use of chemical weapons; launching cyber-attacks that have caused huge economic damage; and spreading malicious and fake news stories on an industrial scale", she said.

"Many countries are not paying what they should", he said.

But in Russian Federation, where the political system is obsessed with hierarchy, status and displays of raw power, Putin has "already got his victory", said Andrey Kortunov, head of RIAC, a foreign policy think-tank close to the Foreign Ministry.

US officials have told Reuters Washington is preparing another review of strategy, a year after Trump begrudgingly agreed to extend involvement in the 17-year-old war.

Trump took issue with Nord Stream 2, a new $11-billion pipeline to bring Russian gas across the Baltic Sea that Berlin has supported despite qualms from other European Union states.

"It was also because of your leadership", Stoltenberg told Trump.

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