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Trump singles out Germany for unpaid bills from US and NATO for defense

Jim Puzzanghera, Tribune Washington Bureau on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump Saturday followed up what he called a "great" meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel by criticizing her country for what he said were unpaid bills for NATO defense.

On Twitter, Trump reiterated a point he made at his joint news conference Friday with Merkel that many NATO nations owe money to the alliance and the U.S. because they haven't paid their fair share.

Saturday, he chastised Germany for not paying enough "for the powerful, and very expensive, defense" NATO and the U.S. provide.

Trump didn't single out Germany for NATO bills as he stood next to Merkel at Friday's news conference.

"Many nations owe vast sums of money from past years, and it is very unfair to the United States," Trump said. "These nations must pay what they owe."

He then thanked Merkel for Germany's commitment to increase its defense spending.

Merkel said Germany increased its defense spending by 8 percent last year and was committed to reaching NATO's goal for each member nation to spend 2 percent of total economic output on defense by 2024.

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