Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Lawmakers Push Back Against Trump's Comments At NATO Summit

Lawmakers Push Back Against Trump's Comments At NATO Summit

German Chancellor Merkel hit back immediately, not only denying Trump's contention but suggesting that his comfortable upbringing in the US gave him no standing to spout off on the world stage about Germany.

"We didn't know what to expect, it was a positive outcome", he said of the dinner in a Brussels park, where leaders were treated to an acrobatic display and saxophone music.

"I am very happy that today we are united in freedom... and that we can therefore also say that we conduct independent policies and can take independent decisions".

The President said: "We are supposed to be guarding against Russian Federation and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russian Federation".

Trump's comments came amid reports that he had warned leaders at an emergency session that the United States could pull out of the alliance if other members failed to increase their contributions. A source close to Macron said Trump had voiced his "personal attachment" to Europe and gave "rather positive and constructive messages" to his allies.

"NATO is an alliance of 29 nations and there are sometimes differences and different views and all sorts of disagreements", NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.

"As for Germany's dependence (on Russia) as a major gas buyer we can not agree with this premise", Peskov told reporters on a conference call.

Trump has berated members of the alliance for failing to spend enough of their money on defense, accusing Europe of freeloading off the USA and raising doubts about whether he would come to members' defense if they were attacked.

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"What's more surprising, the fact that the President Trump is calling them out on that or that previous presidents haven't?" he asked.

He continued that attack Thursday, complaining that, "Germany just started paying Russian Federation, the country they want protection from, Billions of Dollars for their Energy needs coming out of a new pipeline from Russian Federation".

TRUMP: "Why was that previous year?"

"We have a very, very good relationship with the chancellor". Also present was France's President Emmanuel Macron, who tried this year to charm Mr Trump into more harmonious transatlantic relationship, only to see the U.S. president withdraw from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal and impose tariffs on European goods.

Many NATO members were already working to increase their defence spending in recent years.

"Europe is your best ally, please remember that", Council President Donald Tusk said on Wednesday (10 July) in an indirect message to United States president Donald Trump, who will attend a crucial North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels this week and then meet Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But Trump has repeatedly complained about allied spending on defence since his arrival at the summit, insisting it had to be made fair.

Earlier in the day, Trump was on the attack, going after America's allies even as he refused the day before to call Putin an adversary of the United States.

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