Germany is Russia's 'captive', Trump says in new outburst at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies

The French President was spotted cheering on France

Trump took to Twitter to say publicly what he told North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders privately on Wednesday, calling on all allies to meet a commitment agreed in 2014 to spend 2 percent of economic output on defense to counter threats ranging from Russia's military modernization to militant attacks on European cities.

"I have to say, I think it's very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia where we're supposed to be guarding against Russia", Trump said at a breakfast with Stoltenberg. "And then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russian Federation where they're paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russian Federation", he said.

'Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025'.

Mr Trump's main objection is that all but a handful of member states have still not increased their defence budgets to meet a goal of spending at least 2% of their annual economic output on defence by 2024.

In remarks later during the summit, however, President Trump increased pressure on allies over burden sharing, calling on allies to double defense spending targets to 4 percent, the White House confirmed.

(From L to R, first row) German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, U.S. President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May attend the opening ceremony at the 2018 NATO Summit at NATO headquarters on July 11, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium.

"These two people are very different, very interestingly different".

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Democratic congressional leaders issued a rare joint statement harshly condemning Trump's remarks.

"President Trump's brazen insults and denigration of one of America's most steadfast allies, Germany, is an embarrassment". Tim Kaine, D-Va. "I'm very anxious".

Trump had opened the first day of talks in Brussels on Wednesday with a public diatribe against Germany, the second biggest state in the Western defense alliance, before the mood appeared to have calmed as the summit went into its second day, focusing on operations beyond Europe.

The president is expected to meet with the leaders of Azerbaijan, Romania, Ukraine and Georgia before he travels to London Thursday.

He added: "NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS". Larsen has written to Trump about how this fixation on the two per cent commitment demonstrates a willful misrepresentation of both NATO's mission and how it is funded.

Stoltenberg agreed there should be more done to prompt allies to invest more in their defense. The resolution recognises that NATO remains the most important and critical security link between the United States and Europe and the US' commitment to the principle of collective defence as laid out in Article 5 of the NATO Treaty.

Instead, a series of events - a black-tie dinner with business leaders, a meeting with May and an audience with Queen Elizabeth II - will happen outside the bustling city, where Mayor Sadiq Khan has been in a verbal battle with Mr. Trump.

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