German Chancellor Angela Merkel did not mince words in her response to Trump’s diatribe at the NATO summit in Brussels where he claimed that Germany was “totally controlled” by Russia. Merkel scoffed at Trump’s allegations.
“I have experienced myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union. I am very happy that today we are united in freedom, the Federal Republic of Germany. Because of that we can say that we can make our independent policies and make independent decisions. That is very good, especially for people in eastern Germany.”
Trump’s criticism stemmed from the Germany’s dependence on energy imported from Russia, saying the country was being held “captive.” NATO allies have been in disagreement with Germany over the natural gas pipeline, not wishing to increase Europe’s dependence on Russian energy. However, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary general, admits that “Even during the cold war, Nato allies were trading with Russia.”
NATO summits have historically proceeded in an orderly fashion, 69-years worth of meetings have gone relatively fixed, but Trump, on day one, has managed to alienate another country and sow discord into the proceedings.
Trump and Chancellor Merkel had a face-to-face meeting planned afterward which was expected to be somewhat strained. The two have had a terse relationship for nearly the entirety of Trump’s presidency, but it came to a head last month at the G7 summit where Trump acted like a toddler. It is evident that the German leader dislikes Trump, so his antagonism of Chancellor Merkel is likely personal. He has a history of being very thin-skinned when faced with dislike.
Surprisingly Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel acted like old pals at the NATO summit on Wednesday just hours after the president said Germany was “totally controlled” by Russia.
The two leaders complimented each other and praised their partnership after they met on the sidelines of the Brussels summit, where they said they discussed migration, trade and military spending.
“We have a very, very good relationship with the chancellor. We have a tremendous relationship with Germany. They’ve made tremendous success and congratulate you,” Trump said as he sat across from Merkel.
Read more about the Merkel-Trump feud, Angela Merkel hits back at Donald Trump at Nato summit” written by Ewan MacAskill posted by The Guardian on July 11, 2018