Trump stuns NATO with demand to double defence spending

Donald Trump says Germany is 'totally controlled by Russia' at Nato summit

"On top of that, Germany is just paying a little bit over 1 percent [on defense]... and I think that is inappropriate also", Trump said.

Trump has spent weeks berating members of the alliance for failing to increase military spending, accusing Europe of freeloading off the USA and even raising doubts about whether he would come to members' defense as required if they were ever attacked. "On top of this the European Union has a Trade Surplus of $151 Million with the USA, with big Trade Barriers on United States goods. NO!"

Hannity pointed out that Germany is spending billions of dollars on an energy pipeline between them and Russian Federation, and that the country's former chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, is the one leading the business effort.

But the sweeping nature of this claim inspired us to take another look at one of the president's oft-repeated complaints.

During moments that were visible to the press, Trump often separated himself from most of his counterparts, particularly those with whom he has had public disagreements, such as British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canada's Justin Trudeau.

Trump's tongue-lashing accelerated during a pre-summit breakfast, when he traded his usual long-distance Twitter attacks for a face-to-face confrontation with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. They got rid of their coal plants, they got rid of their nuclear, they're getting so much of their oil and gas from Russian Federation. "Well they could increase it immediately, tomorrow, and have no problem", Trump said.

Alluding to Trump's comments about Germany, Kerry also said that "European energy security is an important topic for allies to discuss, even when they disagree". "You tell me if that's appropriate".

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"I am very glad that we are united today in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany and that we can therefore also make our own independent policies and make our own independent decisions". "You tell me, is that appropriate?"

"And the former Chancellor of Germany is the head of the pipeline company that's supplying the gas", Trump said, referring to Gerhard Schröder, the chairman of the board of directors of Nord Stream AG".

TRUMP: "Because of me, they've raised about $40 billion over the past year." - remarks about NATO-member spending on defense at breakfast with Stoltenberg.

While on his way to the summit, Trump fired off a series of confrontational tweets accusing his North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies of stiffing the U.S. by not paying their fair share to contribute to NATO's budget, and lamenting the trade imbalance between the USA and the European Union. The United States spends heavily to defend Germany from Russian Federation, he said, while Germany is paying "billions and billions of dollars a year to Russian Federation".

The president was calling out the planned Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russian Federation to Germany's northeastern Baltic coast, which would bypass Eastern European nations and double the amount of gas that Russian Federation can pipe directly to Germany. Trump plans to meet one-on-one with Merkel, when he will reiterate the same tough message to her face, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

Hours after the breakfast, Merkel and Trump appeared to play nice as they met along the summit's sidelines. The primary way to do this, is for each nation to increase their defense budget to two percent of their respective GDPs.

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