Donald Trump claims Germany is 'captive' of Russia in fiery row at NATO summit
Donald Trump has declared Germany is a "captive" of Russia as he launched an angry assault on US allies at the start of a two-day NATO summit, SKY News reported.
At a breakfast with NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg before the arrival of other world leaders, the US president kept up his typically vociferous campaign for other countries to boost their defence spending.
It raises the prospect of another acrimonious gathering of world leaders, following Mr Trump's junking of a G7 agreement in Canada last month.
Mr Trump immediately targeted Germany as he spoke in Brussels - citing an "inappropriate" gas deal with Russia that he claimed has left Berlin "totally controlled" by Moscow.
He said: "Germany, as far as I'm concerned, is captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia.
"So we're supposed to protect Germany but they're getting their energy from Russia. Explain that. It can't be explained.
"They pay billions of dollars to Russia and we have to defend them against Russia."
Mr Stoltenberg - apparently startled by the ferocity of the US president's assault - shot back as he reminded Mr Trump of NATO's common cause.
He said: "NATO is an alliance of 29 nations and there are sometimes differences and different views and also some disagreements.
"A gas pipeline from Russia to Germany is one issue where allies disagree.
"But, the strength of NATO is that, despite these differences, we have always been able to unite around our core task to protect and defend each other because we understand we are stronger together than apart."
Mr Stoltenberg also stressed how "even during the Cold War, NATO allies were trading with Russia".
German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen also responded defiantly to Mr Trump's barb.
She said: "We have a lot of issues with Russia without any doubt.
"On the other hand, you should keep the communication line between countries or alliances and opponents without any question."
Ahead of this week's summit, Mr Trump has routinely urged other NATO members to increase their military spending.
He has also linked the cost of America's defence budget to an ongoing trade dispute with the EU, even asking whether European nations should "reimburse" the US for historically failing to meet the NATO commitment of spending 2% of GDP on defence and being "delinquent" in payments.
Culled from SKY News
My view: Trump is like pot calling the kettle black, NUMBER ONE HYPOCRITE, Germany are paying for the gas they buy from Russia, they don't get it for free, and they can change their mind and go to somewhere else for their gas, so in what way are they captive to Russia? unlike Trump who was reportedly helped by Russia to win the 2016 Presidential election, also Trump has refused to criticize President Putin, maybe the Russian strongman has secret about Trump the greedy billionaire, which the Mueller team are still investigating. Trump is the one that is a captive to Putin and he cannot say anything bad about the dictator, but we all hope that his former lawyer Michael Cohen, he threw under the bus will expose the con artist. No wonder Meghan Markle is in Ireland with her husband Harry, as they're kind of avoiding Trump.