WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump accused Germany on Saturday of owing “vast sums of money to NATO and the United States” one day after his meeting at the White House with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Trump also wrote on his personal Twitter account that he had a “great” meeting with Merkel, despite the “fake news” that, in his opinion, have been published in US media outlets.
“Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel,” Trump tweeted from his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, where he is spending the weekend.
Nonetheless, he said that Germany owes NATO and the US for the “powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!”
At a press conference he and Merkel gave Friday from the White House, Trump repeated his “strong support” for NATO, but insisted that all its member countries “must pay their fair share.”
“Many nations owe vast sums of money from past years, and it is very unfair to the United States. These nations must pay what they owe,” Trump said.
In particular, the US president demands that each of America’s NATO partners work toward the common goal of raising their respective defense budgets by 2 percent of GDP.
Merkel, for her part, noted during the press conference that the North Atlantic Alliance “is of prime importance for us” and said that Germany acknowledges the need to spend more on defense
“Last year we increased our defense spending by 8 percent, and we’re going to work again and again on this,” the German chancellor said.