Trump insists he has ‘very good’ relations with Merkel

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Several experts explained that the president was likely referring, albeit incorrectly, to the commitment to devote 2 percent of GDP to defense spending.

'We are protecting Germany, we are protecting France, we are protecting all of these countries and then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russian Federation where they are paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russian Federation.

It was just the latest in Trump's demands and insults that critics fear will undermine a decades-old alliance launched to counter-balance Soviet aggression after World War II.

"President Trump should not meet with President Putin alone", Schumer ominously tweeted. Trump posted on his account.

"Germany is the largest economy in the EU".

Trump said: "We're protecting Germany, we're protecting France, we're protecting all of these countries". "So we're supposed to protect you against Russian Federation, but they're paying billions of dollars to Russian Federation". It's expected to be online at the end of 2019.

"Countries falling short means not that they owe anyone money, but that countries have weaker militaries than we would like", added Stephen Saideman, a professor at Carleton University's Norman Paterson School of International Affairs.

The comments will have made for uncomfortable viewing for the rest of Nato's 29 members, whose officials have voiced fears that Mr Trump could undermine the alliance during the gathering.

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At the same time, despite his criticism of the pipeline and its links to Russia, Trump has been noncommittal in recent comments about whether he might lift USA sanctions on Russia, and told reporters he'd "have to see" whether the US might recognize Crimea to be part of Russia.

Trump's decision to meet Putin was widely regarded as a blow to the prime minister's attempts to isolate Russian Federation following the Salisbury attack in March, even though he had strongly condemned the Kremlin's actions at the time. The president argued this is not fair to USA taxpayers and "we're not going to put up with it".

"I have great confidence they'll be spending more", he said. Very Unfair!" and "Many countries in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which we are expected to defend, are not only short of their current commitment of 2% (which is low), but are also delinquent for many years in payments that have not been made.

Trump said the USA wouldn't tolerate countries like Germany that are only spending a little more than 1 percent of their GDP whereas the U.S.

First, it was then-candidate Donald Trump's campaign trail contention that Chancellor Angela Merkel was "ruining Germany" with her decision to allow in more than 1 million asylum-seekers in 2015 and 2016.

"The president needs to remember that, as Commander-in-Chief, his duty is to protect the American people from foreign threats, not to sell out our democracy to Putin".

Trump's criticism set off immediate anxiety in Germany. So we're supposed to protect you against Russian Federation but they're paying billions of dollars to Russian Federation and I think that's very in inappropriate.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg noted Wednesday that member countries have already been increasing their defense spending.