President Donald Trump tore into Germany’s lack of GDP spending on defense and reliance on Russian natural gas, during a bilateral meeting with NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg.
— ABC News (@ABC) July 11, 2018
Trump entered the summit committed to harshly criticizing the alliance members for continuing to shirk the agreed upon 2% target of GDP spending on defense. Only five of the 29 countries in the alliance currently meet their defense spending targets.
“Many countries are not paying what they should, and frankly many countries owe us a tremendous amount of money from many years back,” Trump declared during the meeting. “They’re delinquent, as far as I’m concerned because the United States has had to pay for them.”
Trump then launched into criticism of Germany, saying, “I think it’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia, where you’re supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia.”
“Germany is totally controlled by Russia, because they will be getting from 60 to 70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline. And you tell me if that’s appropriate, because I think it’s not, and I think it’s a very bad thing for NATO and I don’t think it should have happened,” he continued.