German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday fired back at President Trump‘s claim that Germany was controlled by Russia, saying that it is “united in freedom” and makes independent policies and decisions.
“I have experienced myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union,” Merkel said while referring to her childhood in communist East Germany, according to Reuters. “I’m very glad that today we are united in freedom … because of that we can say that we can make our independent policies and make independent decisions.”
Her comments came in response to earlier attacks at the beginning of the NATO summit from Trump, who said that Germany was “totally controlled” by and “captive to” Russia.
Trump made the attacks during a breakfast with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. His remarks appeared to be based on a deal Germany struck with Russia that would bring gas from Russia to Germany’s northeastern Baltic coast.
Trump had previously tried to convince Merkel to drop support for the pipeline back in April.
Merkel also defended Germany’s contribution to the NATO alliance, which Trump has repeatedly said puts too much strain on U.S. taxpayers.
Trump’s statements about Germany and NATO led to growing tensions before the NATO summit even began on Wednesday. A NATO official saidthat expectations were very low because of his continued hostility towards Germany, according to The Wall Street Journal.
BY JUSTIN WISE – 07/11/18