Trump's pipeline criticism was an unusual line of attack for a president who has proclaimed himself eager to improve relations with Russia's Vladimir Putin and dismissed the USA intelligence community's assessment that Russian Federation tried to undermine Western democracy by meddling in the 2016 us presidential election to help Trump win.
Trump's decision to meet Putin was widely regarded as a blow to the prime minister's attempts to isolate Russian Federation following the Salisbury attack in March, even though he had strongly condemned the Kremlin's actions at the time.
Later, Mr. Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel exchanged pleasantries for the cameras during a one-on-one meeting.
Trump declared that a joint natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel's government "totally controlled" and "captive to Russian Federation".
"I think it's very unfair to our country", Trump said. But here's the rub: Many of those free rider countries are on track to up their spending to the required 2%, and oh by the way, the US doesn't even spend 4%.
Trump is due to meet Putin on Monday in Helsinki.More news: Japan floods: Dozens killed in deluges and landslides
Berlin has given political support to the building of a new, $11-billion pipeline to bring Russian gas across the Baltic Sea called Nord Stream 2, despite qualms among other European Union states.
"How can you make that point with the little evidence that you have and the fact that there is no alternative planning on the table?" she said. "You tell me if that's appropriate". She added that as a person born in East Germany, which was subordinate to Moscow in major decisions, the current situation is much better.
The U.S. president has lambasted U.S. allies for routinely failing to meet a 2 percent goal, a much lower standard that their nations agreed upon before he took office. "It does not imply owing the US anything". He credited Trump, saying North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries are investing more on defense because of his leadership.
The development of today's German democracy is in no small way shaped on its relationship with the United States, which helped rebuild the country with the Marshall Plan after the Nazi defeat in World War II, and remained a stalwart friend at the side of West Germany when facing down Soviet aggression during the Cold War. "The good news is that allies have started to invest more in defense".
While Democratic congressional leaders condemned Trump's attacks on Germany as "brazen insults and denigration of one of America's most steadfast allies", Republicans took a more benign view, and some backed him outright.
He added: "We're protecting Germany, France and everybody. this has been going on for decades". "They're delinquent, as far as I'm concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them". The US is paying for Europe's protection, then loses billions on Trade. Corker's foreign relations committee also voted for a pro-NATO measure on Wednesday.