In Brussels, Trump Attacks Germany & NATO Secretary

Nato forces including US troops take part in Sabre Strike exercise in Poland in June

Nato forces including US troops take part in Sabre Strike exercise in Poland in June Credit Georgina Stubbs PA

As the pair met alongside the main summit, Trump confirmed he had brought up the issue of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russian Federation and Germany. Trump wants Europeans to pay up more for their own defence instead of making deals with Moscow.

Trump claims that other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries have not been paying their fair share of the costs to support the alliance, which seeks to protect the U.S., Canada and European nations from attacks by hostile actors, such as Russian Federation.

At a NATO breakfast this morning, Trump attacked Germany and lashed out at NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. The Washington Post reported Trump demanded credit from Stoltenberg for an uptick in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defense budgets, which began rising after Russian Federation annexed Crimea in 2014 but has accelerated since Trump took office.

"I have to say I think it's very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia where you're supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia", Trump began.

The former senator from MA chided Trump over his performance at a meeting with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders previous year and questioned why he would return.

"The strength of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation 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 that we are stronger together than apart", Stoltenberg said.

Trump's tirade was initiated by a reporter who asked Trump which North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries he believes need to spend more money on their own defense budgets.

Trump was due to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron later on Wednesday. You tell me if that's appropriate because I think it's not'.

"I am very happy that today we are united in freedom, the Federal Republic of Germany". I have a very good relationship.

With Trump's much-anticipated summit with Putin just five days away, Stoltenberg appeared to get in a shot of his own, telling Trump other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders are "looking forward to your thoughts about the meeting with President Putin later on".

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"I don't think it's fair to the United States."

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Trump appeared to catch North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief Jens Stoltenberg unawares as he abandoned the polite formality of a breakfast meeting and lashed out at Berlin and other allies for failing to pay their way.

TRT World's Simon McGregor-Wood has more details.

Trump said: "We're protecting Germany, we're protecting France, we're protecting all of these countries".

Trump's suggestion the U.S. provides protection for other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member states glosses over the founding premise of the alliance: collective defense.

Earlier, European Council President Donald Tusk had asked Mr Trump to stop berating North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies over military spending.

However, Berlin insists it is a privately-funded commercial project with no input of public money.

"Well, I have to say I think it's very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia when you're supposed to be guarding against Russia", Trump said, flanked by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, and Kay Bailey Hutchison, the U.S. Permanent Representative to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. "I think it's very unfair to our country".

For decades after the end of the Cold War, he said, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries had cut defence budgets as tensions fell - and now needed to increase them at a time when when tensions were rising.

During a brief presser with President Trump beforehand, Stoltenberg told media that "NATO has to invest more in defence and that is exactly what they are doing".

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