At the end of the first session of a two-day summit, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the aim first was to reach 2 percent, but moments later Trump tweeted that allies were undercutting the USA on trade and needed to immediately boost spending. "Germany is totally controlled by Russia", Trump said during a breakfast with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
"Trump on Wednesday also called out Germany for "paying a little bit over 1 percent" on defense", saying that's "inappropriate also".
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Rachel.
Yet Trump did not seem to get that message.
Asked about Trump calling Germany Russia's "captive", Cornyn said: "I would not choose that word but I understand what he's getting at".
Later, however, Trump insisted via Twitter that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies meet their commitment of 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense spending immediately.
That would represent a massive upheaval of budgetary priorities in Europe where Germany and many others have pledged only to reach 2 percent by 2024 or later, and it was not clear what allies would spend the money on.
"Germany, as far as I'm concerned, is captive of Russian Federation because it is getting so much of its energy from Russian Federation", he said. Chancellor Merkel bristled at this idea.
"Telling it like it is, I know it has some charm for some people", he added. So then these two leaders meet in this one-on-one - had to be awkward.
"We're having a great meeting". In April, Trump said on Twitter that the US relationship with Russia is worse than the Cold War after Russian officials blocked a resolution at the U.N. Security Council to condemn chemical weapons attacks in Syria. "We have a tremendous relationship with Germany". "This is serious. My task is to try to minimise the negative impact on NATO", Stoltenberg told a forum in the margins of the summit.
"We call upon [North Korea] to fully implement its worldwide obligations; to eliminate its nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare capabilities and ballistic missiles, and abandon all related programmes", the statement said. Since President Trump took office, he has been highly critical of the spending guideline put in place by the alliance.
Trump has claimed on numerous occasions over the last week that the United States" more than 4 percent GDP contribution to the security of the group compared to its European allies is "very unfair' to the American taxpayer. "And I am very happy that today we are united in freedom", Merkel said. And obviously, all of this raises questions about America's commitment to that sort of liberal democratic order that it has fostered for seven decades. Where does this leave the state of the alliance at this point? "The United States is paying far too much and other countries are not paying enough".
The verbal attack comes just days before he meets Russian president Vladimir Putin.