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Germany ‘totally controlled by Russia,’ Trump tells North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief

Germany ‘totally controlled by Russia,’ Trump tells North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief”

Only three countries aside from the U.S. - Estonia, Greece and the United Kingdom - are now spending above the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation guideline of 2% on defense.

In a bid to avoid a row, Stoltenberg replied: "Nato is an alliance of 29 nations and there are sometimes differences..."

His demand that they raise their contributions to 4 percent came as a surprise during the first meeting of this week's Brussels summit. "But Germany is totally controlled by Russia", Trump declared. "He's kind of accepting it at this point", Stewart said, adding, however, that it was hard to give an accurate reading of the former U.S. Marine general's attitude without having a thoroughly researched, baseline understanding of what his behavior is like.

"Explain that. And it can't be explained", Trump said.

During moments that were visible to the press, Trump often separated himself from most of his counterparts, particularly those with whom he has had public disagreements, such as British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canada's Justin Trudeau.

"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.

The U.S., meanwhile, is "paying a lot of money" to protect France, Germany and the rest of Europe, Trump added.

Pelosi and Schumer even implied that President Trump's loyalty was to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Schumer's warning comes a day after Trump said his easiest meeting on his foreign trip to Europe over the next week could be his sit-down with Putin.

He made good on that prediction at the start of the NATO summit, lecturing NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in front of media members. "I think that two world wars and the Cold War taught us that we are stronger together than apart", he told the president, trying to calm tensions.

The comment illustrated how Trump often seeks to avoid conflict with people when he is face to face with them versus the often-harsher rhetoric he uses when he's talking behind their back.

Trump said they had a "great meeting" and praised a "very, very good relationship with the chancellor" as well as a "tremendous relationship with Germany", while Merkel said she was happy for the opportunity to talk one-on-one with the president and was "very much looking forward to further" exchanges.

In 2018, the USA defense budget is $706 billion. "We're supposed to be guarding against Russian Federation, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russian Federation".

Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch also took issue with Trump, saying "I don't agree with that. Well they could increase it immediately, tomorrow, and have no problem", Trump said.

Yet Trump did not seem to get that message.

Mr Trump earlier claimed that Germany was "captive to Russia".

The attack on the Skripals was an example of a growing disregard for "the norms and laws that help to keep us safe", she said, and undermined her vision for a rules-based global order.



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