Trump insists he has ‘very good’ relations with Merkel

President Donald Trump branded Germany a "captive of Russia" for its support of a Baltic Sea gas pipeline deal this morning (July 11).

He asked Stoltenberg to explain why Berlin was getting energy from Moscow, and asserted that Germany was "totally controlled" by and "captive to Russia" over a pipeline project.

Jens Stoltenberg, Nato secretary-general, pictured here among alliance leaders, struck a diplomatic note about Mr Trump's outspoken calls for other countries to live up to their goal of spending 2 per cent of their economic output on defence.

"I've experienced myself a part of Germany controlled by the Soviet Union and I'm very happy today that we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany and can thus say that we can determine our own policies and make our own decisions and that's very good, " she said. Trump made it clear he's exhausted of America shelling out more money on defense than its allies.

The Trump administration is now trying to derail a German-Russian project to double the capacity of the underwater Nord Stream gas pipeline.

"President Trump's brazen insults and denigration of one of America's most steadfast allies, Germany, is an embarrassment", read a statement from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Trump posted on his account.

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The U.S., which spent $685.9 billion on defense in 2017, now makes up 51.1 percent of NATO's combined GDP.

Mr Trump dominated the day and is set to stay in the spotlight as he visits the United Kingdom and prepares for a summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Bloomberg omitted the part where Radev said that Trump spoke first and added a claim from the Bulgarian leader that the US president left the meeting immediately after his own remarks.

Trump has called upon North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to meet commitments to spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense. And then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russian Federation where they're paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russian Federation. The organization is asking all member states spend a minimum 2 percent of their GDP on defensive measures by 2024.

"I think we can cope with it", von der Leyen said.

Around eight members of the 29-country alliance are expected to reach the 2% target this year.

His demand that they raise their contributions to 4 percent came as a surprise during the first meeting of this week's Brussels summit. And it's a sharp contrast to the conciliatory tone Trump has taken with Russian Federation ahead of a meeting with Vladimir Putin next week.

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