Trump tangles with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders in testy start to Brussels summit

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Trump asserted earlier Wednesday that Germany is "totally controlled" by and "captive to Russia" because of a pipeline project. And I think you can have no doubt that this is an investment in common American and European defense and security.

"We're supposed to be guarding against Russia and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia", Trump said in the presence of reporters at a pre-summit meeting at the residence of the USA ambassador to Belgium.

"Many of us are concerned, I certainly am, about the President's ongoing rhetoric that really demeans or ridicules our allies and praises our adversaries", Flake said.

"We spend on defense much more than Russian Federation and as much as China".

Trump leaves Britain for the summit with Putin on July 16 in Helsinki, Finland.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has been struggling to put on a display of unity for a two-day summit at its new headquarters, amid deep divisions among member states over Trump's policies on trade and his decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and global climate agreement.

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Stoltenberg responded cordially, noting Trump's leadership for bringing the issue of defense spending to the forefront of NATO's agenda. At a campaign rally last week in Great Falls, Montana, the president told supporters, "I'll see NATO and I'll tell NATO, 'You've got to start paying your bills.'" He then warned alliance members, "The United States is not going to take care of everything".

"Trust me, we'll be just fine", Trump said.

'We lose 151 Billion on Trade with the European Union.

The focus of the summit will likely be defence spending, as US President Donald Trump has argued that the US shoulders too much of the alliance's financial burden. "Well they could increase it immediately, tomorrow, and have no problem", Trump said.

Ms. Merkel said they were discussing migration and trade. 'So they want to protect against Russian Federation, yet they pay billions of dollars to Russian Federation and we're the schmucks paying for the whole thing, ' Trump said.

But Merkel nevertheless insisted Washington and Berlin remain allies, saying: "We are partners, we are good partners and wish to continue to cooperate in the future".