On Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump blasted Germany at a NATO summit in Brussels, accusing the country of being “totally controlled by Russia” concerning its energy sources.

At a breakfast meeting, Trump called Germany “captive” of Russia due to its dependence on it for natural gas. The president specifically cited the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, a $10 billion construction that Germany recently authorized Russian energy firm Gazprom to develop through its waters.

Trump also criticized other NATO allies at the summit, calling them “delinquent” for not increasing military spending sufficiently. Trump had previously butted heads with foreign leaders at the G7 Summit last month. 

“I think it’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia, where you’re supposed to be guarding against Russia and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia,” Trump stated in a live broadcast of the breakfast that started the two-day meeting.

He continued: “So we’re protecting Germany, we’re protecting France, we’re protecting all of these countries. And then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they’re paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia. And I think that’s very inappropriate.”

Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel fired back at Trump’s comments by saying she knows what being controlled by Russia is really like because she grew up during the Soviet occupation of East Germany during the Cold War.

“Because of given circumstances I want to point out one thing: I experienced the Soviet occupation of one part of Germany myself. It is good that we are independent today,” Merkel told reporters.

Trump’s remarks about Germany are the latest in a series of inaccurate criticisms about the nation. The president also recently claimed Germany was experiencing unprecedented high levels of crime due to the many immigrants entering the nation, when in fact lawlessness int he country has been at one of its lowest rates since 1992, as Merkel’s cabinet showed in a press release.

Merkel also pointed out that Germany is the second-biggest supplier of NATO forces behind the United States.

Some observers, like Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California, noted how Trump has much closer ties to Russia and Vladimir Putin than Merkel does.


NATO leaders had agreed in 2014 to progressively reach the goal of spending 2 percent of GDP on defense by 2024, although Trump incorrectly claimed earlier this month that this was a “current” pledge.

“And on top of that Germany is just paying a little bit over 1 percent, while the US is paying 4.2 percent in actual numbers of a much larger GDP,” said Trump.