Donald Trump lashed out at Germany on the first day of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Brussels, earning a rebuke from not just German Chancellor Angela Merkel, but also a Senior Republican. On Wednesday, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) wasted no time in calling out Trump and defended Germany. Hatch said he didn’t “agree” with Trump’s jaw-dropping claim that Germany is “totally controlled by Russia” because it imports so much natural gas from Russia. We cannot confirm or deny whether Trump made that bizarre claim while on a date with his BFF Putin.
Hatch, a Trump ally who helped pass the GOP tax scam bill, called Germany one of our country’s “strongest allies” and went on to praise Germans as “a very strong people,” according to The Hill.
Hatch praised German Chancellor Angela Merkel and said that he had a very high opinion of Germany’s leader.
“I have really the highest opinion of her and those who are with her,” Hatch said. “I think sometimes you can be a little too critical of the other counterparts. I don’t think we should be critical. She’s really good.”
Trump’s remarks created a backlash, with Merkel firing back to say that she did not need advice in dealing with authoritarian regimes, and recalled that she had been brought up in East Germany when it had been part of the Soviet Union’s influence.
“I have experienced myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union,” Merkel said just hours after Trump lashed out at Germany. “I am very happy that today we are united in freedom, the Federal Republic of Germany. Because of that, we can say that we can make our independent policies and make independent decisions. That is very good, especially for people in eastern Germany.”
Merkel also addressed Trump’s claim when he said that Germany did not contribute enough to European defense. “Germany does a lot for NATO,” she said.
“Germany is the second largest provider of troops, the largest part of our military capacity is offered to NATO and until today we have a strong engagement towards Afghanistan. In that, we also defend the interests of the United States.”
And as a surprise to no one ever, Trump really doesn’t understand how the alliance works and he tends to make misleading claims about it while criticizing our allies. By misleading, I mean that he lies. The U.S. is NATO’s largest member so we pay more. Now, some of what Trump says is fairly accurate but his claims are littered with inaccuracies during each rant.
Featured image via screen capture