"Germany, as far as I'm concerned, is captive to Russia because it's getting so much of its energy from Russia", Trump told NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in a fiery on-camera exchange that was almost without precedent in the history of the post-World War II alliance. '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. "It's very unfair to our taxpayers".
Trump will meet the Russian leader in the Finnish capital on July 16 for their first summit amid an ongoing investigation in the USA into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.
Mr Trump appeared to be referring to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would bring gas from Russian Federation to Germany's north-eastern Baltic coast, bypassing Eastern European nations like Poland and Ukraine and doubling the amount of gas Russian Federation can send directly to Germany. In recent weeks, various European leaders have also threatened to retaliate against USA tariffs and filed complaints to the World Trade Organization.
She said it showed Britain's "steadfast commitment" to the alliance and how it can rely on the UK.
Answering questions from reporters on the lawn of the White House as he and his wife Melania prepared to board the Marine One presidential helicopter, Mr Trump said that the United Kingdom "certainly has a lot of things going on".
"These courageous men and women will carry out their roles in Kabul with all the pride and professionalism we have come to expect, helping to bring the stability and security that the Afghan people deserve". "We have highlighted the importance of this diversification of supplies to make sure that our energy systems are resilient".
"Dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don't have that many". On top of that Germany is just paying just a little bit over 1% whereas the United States is paying 4.2% of a much larger GDP. Only five North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members (the United States, United Kingdom, Estonia, Poland, and Greece) met the two percent threshold in 2017. Other presidents has raised European defence spending levels in the past but he is intent on dealing with it.
Trump said Tuesday he "can't say right now" if Putin is a friend or foe, but called him a "competitor". 'I think its a very bad thing for NATO, ' Trump said. "He may be the only one, but that's OK with me". That is why we have agreed today to strengthen EU-NATO ties in crucially important areas. "We're being taken advantage of by the European Union".
Wales appoint Pivac as coach to succeed Gatland
If he is appointed, it will be a return to worldwide coaching for Pivac, who was Fiji boss for three years from 2004-2007. The New Zealander has won three Six Nations championships, including two Grand Slams since taking over in late 2007.
Overall, NATO members will spend an average 2.40 percent of GDP on defense this year compared with 2.42 percent in 2017, the alliance said.
She also defended Germany's contribution to an alliance which Trump says places too much burden on the U.S. taxpayer.
Mr Tusk also made the point that the United States did not and would not have a better ally than the EU, reminding the president that it was European troops who had fought and died in Afghanistan after the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US.
US Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison, meanwhile, emphasized the importance of strengthening the alliance ahead of Trump's visit - indicating some cognitive dissonance with the President. "He may be the only one, but that's OK with me", he said. "'And it means a lot more to you than protecting us because I don't know how much protection we get by protecting you'".
Mr Trump predicted as he departed Washington that the "easiest" leg of his journey would be his scheduled sit-down with Mr Putin. Their concerns had already set in ahead of Trump's arrival on the continent, following weeks during which the US President has increasingly and vociferously aired out his grievances against many of them.
After being played a video clip of Trump's remarks and being asked whether what he said is "true", Gardner uttered an uncomfortable chuckle and said, "No".
But it adds that they will also "submit credible national plans on its implementation" in language that will perhaps please the USA president. Will they reimburse the U.S.?
"It's also because of your leadership, because your clear message", Stoltenberg responded. "But despite those disagreements I expect we will agree on the fundamentals".