Trump rattles NATO, knocking its value, assailing Germany

BRUSSELS — President Donald Trump tore into this week’s NATO summit questioning the value of a military alliance that has defined decades of American foreign policy, torching an ally and proposing a massive increase in European defense spending.

Trump on Wednesday turned a harsh spotlight on Germany’s own ties to Russia. He declared that a natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel’s government “totally controlled” and “captive” to Russia.

The attack against a core ally comes days before Trump is set to meet one-on-one with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. With scorching language, Trump questioned the necessity of the alliance that formed a bulwark against Soviet aggression. He tweeted after a day of contentious meetings: “What good is NATO if Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for gas and energy?”

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