Donald Trump says Germany is 'totally controlled by Russia' at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

Donald Trump says Germany is 'totally controlled by Russia' at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

"President Trump has at times called the alliance 'obsolete.' Our allies are starting to wonder whether they can rely on the United States to come to their defense in a crisis", said Sen.

Seated across the table from NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump vented about Germany for not meeting a 2 per cent spending commitment on defense. "'And it means a lot more to you than protecting us because I don't know how much protection we get by protecting you'".

"Germany is captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia", Mr Trump said. The project is opposed by the US and some European Union members.

But NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg pointed out that military spending had been rising in Europe since 2014 and members were making efforts to meet the objective, particularly Germany, which is often singled out by Trump for criticism. Journalists will not be allowed to cover either meeting, she said.

"And we will continue to make the case for all allies to follow the UK's example and meet the 2 per cent pledge". The U.S.is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them", Trump tweeted Tuesday morning, adding: "Not fair to the U.S. taxpayer. "You're not dealing with Russian Federation, you're making Russian Federation richer", Trump said.

"I think that getting along with Russian Federation, getting along with China, getting along with others is a good thing, not a bad thing", he added. "He may be the only one, but that's OK with me".

"We have to talk about the billions and billions of dollars that's being paid to the country we're supposed to be protecting you against", Trump said, referring to European purchases of Russian natural gas. But we can not be taken advantage of. "Will they reimburse the USA?" he also tweeted. Other presidents has raised European defence spending levels in the past but he is intent on dealing with it.

For NATO leaders, seeing Trump jet off for a amicable summit with Putin after a hard two days in Brussels would be a diplomatic nightmare.

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Western alliances with the U.S. have been strained as Trump is very vocal about his "American first" policies. "It is always worth knowing who is your strategic friend and who is your strategic problem", he said.

Responding to Trump's recent criticism - or perhaps anticipating more - European Council President Donald Tusk offered a rebuttal ahead of Trump's arrival on European soil.

He also said that his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki next week would be the "easiest" of the meetings he'll have while he's overseas. "As far as I'm concerned, a competitor - a competitor".

"So I think the secretary-general likes Trump". And a year ago, during his first visit to its Belgium headquarters, Trump initially declined to explicitly support the organization's defense agreement.

That would send the alliance into a tailspin, damaging security by opening the question of whether NATO's most powerful member is still willing to defend its allies if one were attacked.

Mitch McConnell, who holds wide influence as the Republican leader of the Senate, was asked on July 10 about Trump's threats to the alliance. "You tell me if that's appropriate".

WATCH: NATO leaders gather for a summit on July 11-12 amid deep divisions on trade and defense spending. Only five North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members (the United States, United Kingdom, Estonia, Poland, and Greece) met the two percent threshold in 2017. "Who would think? But the United Kingdom certainly has a lot of things going on".

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