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Trump Slams Germany as Being a 'Captive' to Russia Ahead of NATO Summit
U.S. President Donald Trump publicly and forcefully lashed out at Germany at the start of the annual NATO summit in Brussels, because of its support for a Baltic Sea gas pipeline deal with Russia, accusing Germany of being a "captive" of Russia.  During a heated breakfast meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg Wednesday, Trump said Germany pays billions of dollars to Russia and "we have to defend them against Russia. Trump also said it was "very inappropriate" that the United States was paying far more to defend Europe than other members of NATO, repeating a constant complaint raised in recent days in both spoken comments and on Twitter. He has demanded that NATO members contribute more money to the defense alliance that has been the linchpin of the West’s post-World War Two military cooperation. Stoltenberg pushed back, stressing that NATO members have been able to work together despite their differences. The dramatic exchange set the tone for what was already expected to be a tense day of meetings with leaders of the military alliance.  Trump is expected to continue to confront NATO allies about their military spending during the summit meeting, which comes amid strained relations between the U.S. president and the United States' closest traditional allies.

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