Tough rhetoric against core ally comes just days before president is set to meet one-on-one with Putin
U.S. President Donald Trump continued to hammer NATO nations over their defence spending Thursday as he prepared for a second day of meetings with leaders of the military alliance.
Trump, in a series of tweets from Brussels, said that, “Presidents have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get Germany and other rich NATO Nations to pay more toward their protection from Russia.”
He said the U.S. “pays tens of Billions of Dollars too much to subsidize Europe” and demanded that members meet their pledge to spend 2 percent of GDP on defence, which “must ultimately go to 4%!”
Trump has taken an aggressive tone during the summit, questioning the value of a military alliance that has defined decades of American foreign policy, torching an ally and proposing a massive increase in European defence spending.
Under fire for his warm embrace of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Trump turned a harsh spotlight on Germany’s own ties to Russia, declaring Wednesday that a natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel’s government “totally controlled” and “captive” to Russia.