WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said today that Germany owes "vast sums of money" to NATO and the U.S. "must be paid more" for providing defense, reiterating his stance that European allies need to meet their end of the bargain if they are to continue benefiting from the military alliance.
Trump's tweet from his Florida resort, where he is spending the weekend, came the day after his first meeting with Germany's leader.
"Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel," the president wrote. "Nevertheless, Germany 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!"
Trump and Merkel tried to sidestep their differences in their meeting at the White House on Friday, but it was punctuated by some awkward moments.
During a photo op in the Oval Office, the two did not shake hands before reporters. Later, during a joint news conference, Trump pushed back against the notion in Europe that his "America First" agenda means he's an isolationist, calling such a suggestion "another example of, as you say, fake news." And he referred to the United States as "a very powerful company," before quickly correcting that to "country."
When a German reporter asked Trump if he regrets any of his commentary on Twitter, Trump said, "Very seldom."