NATO: Trump makes new spending demands, blasts Germany

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July 11, 2018 - 11:00 PM

From left, Juri Ratas, Prime Minister of Estonia, Emmanuel Macron, President of France, German Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of Greece, have a conversation at the beginning of the firs

BRUSSELS — President Donald Trump upended the show of unity at NATO’s annual summit Wednesday as many allies had feared, claiming that Germany “is totally controlled by” and “captive to Russia” and inflating his demands that the alliance’s members spend more on defense to an unrealistic level.

The president’s comments in Brussels, especially his harsh and unexpected attack on Germany, Europe’s leading power, overshadowed the alliance’s ostensible business and undercut its ultimate summit declaration of NATO allies’ commitment to shared values and a joint defense against Russian aggression.

Under fire for his warm embrace of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Trump turned a harsh spotlight on Germany’s own ties to Russia, alleging that a natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel’s government “totally controlled” and “captive” to Russia.

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