On Wednesday, during his breakfast with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump claimed that Germany was “totally controlled” by and “captive to” Russia.
Trump stated, “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.”
He continued, “But Germany is totally controlled by Russia because they will be getting from 60 to 70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline…If you look at it, Germany is a captive of Russia.”
Hours after Trump’s remarks, German Chancellor Angela Merkel fired back. Even though she did not mention Trump by name, her comments seem to be a direct rebuttal to Trump’s earlier remarks.
She started out by citing her own experience when Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union. She stated, “I wanted to say that, because of current events, I have witnessed this myself, that a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union. And I am very happy that we are today unified in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany.”
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She continued, “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.”
She also hit back on Trump’s claim that Germany was not doing enough for NATO.
She added, “Germany does a lot for NATO. Germany is the second largest provider of troops, the largest part of our military capacity is offered to NATO and until today we have a strong engagement towards Afghanistan. In that, we also defend the interests of the United States.”
Below is the video of Trump’s claim:
— TIME (@TIME) July 11, 2018
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