Trump: Germany owes 'vast sums of money' to NATO and US

Marcel Micheaux
Mars 20, 2017

Trump had made European defence spending an issue during his election campaign, saying the United States - which spends just over three per cent of its GDP on defence - carries too much of the financial burden for supporting NATO.

U.S. President Donald Trump welcomes German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 17, 2017.

After his first meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday, Trump tweeted that Berlin "owes vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!".

Mr Trump and his allies have yet to prove that his phone was tapped by Mr Obama during the presidential race.

"There is no debt account at NATO", German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement reported by Reuters. Each member is required by the guidelines of the alliance to put aside 2% of their economic output on defence.

Spicer' decision to refer to Napolitano's comments on Fox News at a press briefing earlier this week incited a minor international incident overnight Thursday after the British government demanded an apology from the White House.

Nunes said that the committee is still waiting for information from the FBI and CIA "that is necessary to determine whether information collected on U.S. persons was mishandled and leaked". "All we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for saying that on television".

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When making the original allegations, Napolitano implied the decision to use GCHQ had been made to keep "American fingerprints" off the spying.

Since the early 2000s, the U.S. has routinely budgeted between 3 percent and 5 percent of GDP for defense.

"I don't think we regret anything".

"At least we have something in common, perhaps", Trump quipped.

"I don't believe he heard the request", Trump's spokesman Sean Spicer told German weekly Der Spiegel published on Sunday.

No formal agreements were announced in the visit, although the two sides said they would work together on North Korea and countering its rapidly developing nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. They went instead with a commitment to increase the role of trade in their respective economies.

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