Trump demands increase in military spending

Today is the day

Trump declared that a joint natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel's government "totally controlled" and "captive to Russian Federation". I was 7 years old at the time.

Drawing on her own background, German Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed back sharply, insisting that Germany makes its own decisions. "It's very unfair to our taxpayer".

European officials have expressed hopes that member states can paper over their differences, but European Union President Donald Tusk delivered a blunt message to the USA leader on Tuesday.

Trump's pipeline criticism was an unusual line of attack for a president who has appeared eager to improve relations with Putin and dismissed the USA intelligence community's assessment that Russian Federation tried to undermine Western democracy by meddling in the 2016 US presidential election to help Trump win. Despite Merkel's tough talk over Russia's annexation of Crimea and sponsorship of separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine, she has defended the $11 billion pipeline deal to supply her country's energy shortfall.

Merkel bristled at the idea that the gas deal has left her country "captive" to Moscow.

But unlike his recent tweets in which he berated allies, Trump struck a more affable tone in person before taking his flight: "We will work it out and all countries will be happy".

Hours after the breakfast, Merkel and Trump appeared to play nice as they met along the summit's sidelines.

"No", was Macron's answer as reporters were being ushered out. Germany now spends about 1.2 percent, while the USA spends about 3.6 percent. We have a tremendous relationship with Germany.

Kerry, who is married to Heinz ketchup heiress Teresa Heinz, called the president's behavior "disgraceful" and "destructive" after the president criticized North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members in Brussels for not fulfilling their agreement to spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on defense.

"They're delinquent, as far as I'm concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them", Trump added.

"Germany agreed, after two decades of reducing defence spending, Germany has started to increase defence spending".

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. "For many years I dreamed of freedom, just as many others did - also of the freedom to travel to the United States", she said then. "The U.S. presence in Europe helps to protect Europe but it also helps the United States project power to the Middle East, to Africa".

Trump's harsh words for Merkel, whose country has hosted tens of thousands of USA troops that have been key to post-WWII stability in Europe for seven decades, struck at the core of the alliance. The House is expected to cast a similar, nonbinding vote on Wednesday. "Well they could increase it immediately, tomorrow, and have no problem", the USA president said.

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