Trump Opens NATO Summit by Accusing Germany of Being “Totally Controlled by Russia”

Angela Merkel hit back at the startling remarks.

Bernd Von Jutrczenka/ZUMA

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel hit back at President Donald Trump after he accused Germany of being “totally controlled by Russia”‘ and urged allies to look into the issue during a rant at the outset of this week’s NATO summit in Brussels.

“I’ve experienced myself a part of Germany controlled by the Soviet Union and I’m very happy today that we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany and can thus say that we can determine our own policies and make our own decisions and that’s very good,” Merkel told reporters in response to Trump’s comment’s.

The president’s startling tirade against Germany early on Wednesday included suggestions that the country’s support for Nord Stream 2, a pipeline project that would bring gas from Russia to Germany, was a security threat to Europe. “How can you be stronger when a country is getting energy from the person you want to protect against?” Trump asked.

During the breakfast meeting, Trump targeted Germany with his continued complaint that NATO members do not spend enough on their own defense. The combative remarks appeared to rattle the president’s aides, including White House chief of staff John Kelly and NATO ambassador Kay Hutchinson.

The remarks come as Trump is set to meet next week with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He recently suggested that his relationship with Putin is “easier” than his relationships with US allies in Britain and Europe.

By accusing a global rival of having unsavory ties with Russia—at the moment investigators are looking into the president’s own unsavory ties with Russia—Trump is continuing his use of the so-called “boomerang insult,” a strategy that seeks to deflects attacks against him on to his critics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liGZGGQTYQk

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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