Furious Donald Trump lashes out at Angela Merkel over Germany’s hypocrisy on Russia links

He accused the Germans of “taking advantage” of the USA which was there “to protect them from Russia” in the event of military conflict. NATO members should pay 2 percent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) into the alliance’s coffers every year but Berlin’s annual contributions are closer to the 1.2 percent mark.

Mr Trump praised Britain for meeting its financial obligations while pointing out the US hands over around 4 percent of its GDP.

The US President’s comments came in his LBC interview with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage who raised the issue of EU member states failing to meet their NATO commitments at a time when Brussels was making plans for its own pan-European security force.

Mr Trump said: “Well they’re not paying their way.”

He continued: “There are right now in NATO 20 countries that are delinquent, meaning they owe a lot of money.

“Germany is the number one, they’re down to 1.2 percent and 1.3 percent and there supposed to be at 2 percent which is a very low number – the United States is at 4 percent so try and figure that one out.

“And we are there to protect you.

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“So we’ve got things like Germany paying a lot money to Russia for things like the pipeline and for energy – a tremendous amount of their energy will be coming from Russia and that’s all fine.

“But then we’re supposed to protect them from Russia. So how does that work?”

NATO leaders meet in London for the alliance’s 70th anniversary summit on December 3 and 4 and Mr Trump said he was looking forward to returning to the UK to take part.

He said: “There’s a lot of difficulty with that whole situation but we’ll see how it works out.

“I hope it works out and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone. Great relationships with the various nations.”

The 70th anniversary summit comes at a delicate time for NATO with tensions with Russia at a high not seen since the Cold War.

Mr Trump has always been fiercely critical of NATO’s European members, accusing them of freeloading on the protection offered by the US military while not spending enough on their own armed forces.

Before taking office three years ago he branded NATO “obsolete”.

Mr Stoltenberg said the December summit will be a chance to “address current and emerging security challenges and how NATO continues to invest and adapt to ensure it will remain a pillar of stability in the years ahead”.

He said London was a fitting venue to mark 70 years of transatlantic military cooperation as it was home to the alliance’s first headquarters after the UK become one of NATO’s 12 founding members in 1949.

It now has 29 member states and a headquarters in Brussels.

Mr Stoltenberg said: “London was the home of our first headquarters, so it is a fitting venue for NATO heads of state and government to plan the alliance’s future.”

source: express.co.uk