Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Trump brands Germany a "captive of Russian Federation", days before he meets Putin

Trump blasts Germany Russia pipeline right after arriving at NATO NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg with President Trump at the NATO summit in Brussels
Steven Clarke | 12 July, 2018, 16:12

Trump stressed that NATO's budget had been unfair to the United States but now he was sure it would be fair.

In a closed-doors meeting at the two-day North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels, Trump is said to have thrown a "tantrum" over the issue, threatening that the USA would go it alone on defense issues if the other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members-most of whom are European-do not immediately increase military spending as a percentage of gross domestic product.

While he has said in recent days that allies are "delinquent", and should reimburse the USA for spending, each country contributes money to its own defense budget, not toward the alliance or any one country.

"There is value in protecting the president in having a number of Americans in the room when the conversations take place, because just what I saw on the scale of a congressional visit can happen in a presidential visit in which the description of what transpired in the meeting does not fit reality", Moran said.

Trump scolded leaders here and criticized some countries, including Germany and Spain, for failing to contribute more to their defenses and for relying too heavily on the largesse of the United States.

Trump said he wanted "peace all over the world, that's my goal", and he wanted to achieve this by building up the military, with his dream to have the best military equipment in the world and never have to use it.

Tensions rose on the final day of the two-day summit when members met in an emergency session amid demands from Trump for all members to spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense.

Senator deletes tweet after revealing Meghan Markle broke this royal rule
Harry leaned in to say hello to Dylan Mahon, who grabbed the smiling prince's beard, as Meghan covered her mouth laughing. After the visit, Harry and Meghan made their way to Trinity College in Dublin, where they saw the historic Book of Kells.

"And on top of that, they're showing in the future they'll be even closer to Russian Federation because of the pipeline they're putting in", he added.

US Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison, meanwhile, emphasized the importance of strengthening the alliance ahead of Trump's visit - indicating some cognitive dissonance with the President.

U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel pose for a photograph prior to a bilateral meeting on the eve of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany, Thursday, July 6, 2017.

"It will be over a relatively short period of years", Trump said. "And maybe it's not but I think meeting with people is great". According to Stoltenberg, eight countries would meet the 2 percent target this year and a "majority" put forward plans to do so by 2020 - compared to only three countries who were meeting the commitment in 2014.

Trump then held an impromptu press conference.

Officials at the meeting said Trump had shocked many present and broke with diplomatic protocol by addressing German Chancellor Merkel by her first name, telling her: "Angela, you need to do something about this". But that wasn't all that Trump hit allies about.

Trump also singled out Germany over its low-levels of defense spending - it now spends 1.24 percent of its GDP on defense - and renewed his criticism of a controversial gas pipeline deal between Germany and Russian Federation made a day earlier.

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