US President Donald Trump gave NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg a tongue lashing on NATO's failure to crank up its defense spending, while calling out Germany for its complete dependance on Russian oil and gas.
Check out the video below for the best parts of Trump's epic take down of Stoltenberg (and Merkel)...
Of course Trump is preparing the way for his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, setting up some negotiating points for public consumption, before the two leaders face off in Helsinki on July 16th.
Trump however is also signaling his disdain for the Brussels technocrats running NATO, a military alliance with no purpose or point for existence. Trump is obviously displaying his lack of patience with NATO's decades of freeloading, while also calling out Germany's two-faced hypocrisy...feeding off the US taxpayer to protect them against an ‘invading Russia', while at the same time outsourcing its entire energy infrastructure to Russia.
POTUS Trump called Germany a hostage of Russia, criticizing the bloc members that approved the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Europe.
Trump blasted Stoltenberg during a working breakfast...
"Germany is captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia. They pay billions of dollars to Russia and we have to defend them against Russia."
This is a defense and energy shake down from Trump towards NATO, while at the same time laying the groundwork for a meeting with Putin, which will possibly see European energy and NATO discussed as perhaps some kind of grand bargain between the two leaders...because today, during his NATO breakfast, Trump just exposed how weak, inept, and corrupt NATO has become.
Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected Trump's assertion, saying that Berlin makes its own independent decisions and policies.
Germany has resisted US pressure to block Nord Stream 2, which is due to be completed in 2019. The project is an expansion of the existing Nord Stream natural gas pipeline which opened in 2011. The pipeline has been a source of contention for over a year, pitting the US and a small number of Eastern European countries, including Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania and others, on one side, against Russia and major EU members, led by Germany, on the other.
The expanded pipeline aims to ensure a reliable supply of Russian gas to central and western Europe. It includes a 759 mile (1,222km) natural gas pipeline running on the bed of the Baltic Sea from Russian gas fields to Germany. It will double the existing Nord Stream pipeline's current annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters and is expected to become operational by the end of next year.
The EU has suffered considerable economic losses due to the US-led push to block trade with Russia since 2014. By contrast, the US has been largely unaffected, and has even profited somewhat from the sale of pricey liquefied natural gas (LNG) that Washington has promoted as the alternative to cheaper Russian fuel.
Last month, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen said that while US politicians are accusing Europe of being dependent on Russian gas, Washington was force-feeding Europe its liquefied natural gas, which is three times more expensive than natural gas from Russia.