House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) released a statement Wednesday criticizing President Trump’s remarks at a NATO meeting that Germany was a “captive” of Russia due to a pipeline project that would import gas to Russia. The Democratic leaders called Trump’s remarks “an embarrassment.”
“President Trump’s brazen insults and denigration of one of America’s most steadfast allies, Germany, is an embarrassment,” they wrote. “His behavior this morning is another profoundly disturbing signal that the President is more loyal to President Putin than to our NATO allies.”
“If the President leaves the Putin meeting without ironclad assurances and concrete steps toward a full cessation of Russian attacks on our democracy,” the leaders added, “this meeting will not only be a failure – it will be a grave step backward for the future of the international order and global security. A successful meeting means real action, now.”
Pelosi and Schumer even implied that President Trump’s loyalty was to Russian president Vladimir Putin.
“The President needs to remember that, as Commander-in-Chief, his duty is to protect the American people from foreign threats, not to sell out our democracy to Putin,” they concluded.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended Germany against Trump’s remarks Wednesday morning and will meet with Trump in the afternoon.
Trump also commented on Germany's NATO spending, saying that "Germany is just paying a little over 1 percent. Whereas the United States in actual numbers is paying 4.2 percent of a much larger GDP. So I think that's inappropriate also."
Merkel replied by pointing out that Germany is one of the largest contributors of troops for NATO's missions.