North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members keep wary eye on Trump's mood

Clay Curtis
July 12, 2018

The summit in Brussels is shaping up as the alliance's most hard in years, against a backdrop of deepening transatlantic tensions in fields ranging from trade to energy and defence.

"Germany is a captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia", Trump said, taking particular aim at the proposed Nord Stream II gas pipeline, which he has previously criticised.

"Trump at NATO Summit: It's not just bad, it's a catastrophe", the influential Sueddeutsche Zeitung headlined its story online. "But Germany is totally controlled by Russia", Trump declared.

Arriving at Nato, Ms Merkel sought to put her countries ties to the western alliance in historical context.

President Trump kicked off his trip to Europe with a biting critique of the United States' longtime allies, declaring at a breakfast meeting that Germany "is captive to Russian Federation".

"Take a look at the chart", Trump instructed the reporter, explaining the U.S.is owed a mass of money for decades of delinquent allied payments.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended Germany against Trump's remarks Wednesday morning and will meet with Trump in the afternoon.

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But Merkel, who grew up in communist East Germany, told reporters she had "experienced myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union" and said her country today made "independent policies" and "independent decisions".

Moreover, Stoltenberg argued Wednesday that the US military presence in Europe, through the 29-country alliance, gives it an advantage in dealing with Russian Federation and projecting power in the Middle East and Africa.

Schumer's warning comes a day after Trump said his easiest meeting on his foreign trip to Europe over the next week could be his sit-down with Putin.

Fox News host Shepard Smith on Wednesday rapped President TrumpDonald John TrumpEx-FBI lawyer won't attend interview with House lawmakers: attorney Trump officials to release migrants with ankle monitors North Korea state media release photos of Kim at potato farm after Pompeo visit MORE for his criticisms of NATO members, saying that the comments could "turn back the global clock centuries". "To me, this is nearly like propaganda, it really tells you how far out we're getting here and what sort of an influence that Trump is able to exert".

By accusing a global rival of having unsavory ties with Russia-at the moment investigators are looking into the president's own unsavory ties with Russia-Trump is continuing his use of the so-called "boomerang insult", a strategy that seeks to deflects attacks against him on to his critics. "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 inappropriate". "President Trump wants to see our allies share more of the burden and at a very minimum meet their already stated obligations". "So, I think that's inappropriate also". "I have to bring it up because it's unfair to our country or our taxpayers".

STOLTENBERG: "It's also because of your leadership, because of your carried message". US Turkish relations have recently been strained because of issues ranging from Syria to Iran, but some diplomats say the two leaders - both criticised for their polarising politics - have established a bond.

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