NATO official: Expectations for summit low

NATO official: Expectations for summit low
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A NATO official said on Wednesday that expectations for the NATO summit in Belgium are very low due to President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE's criticism of Germany, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

“The mood ahead of the [Group of Seven] G-7 was also quite bad and still it ended worse than expected,” the unidentified official said.


The comment came as Trump meets with other world leaders for a NATO summit in Belgium. Trump kicked off the meeting by reiterating his calls for other NATO members to increase their military spending and singled out Germany for a gas deal it made with Russia. 

“I have to say, I think it’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia where we’re supposed to be guarding against Russia,” Trump said at breakfast with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. “We’re supposed to protect you against Russia but they’re paying billions of dollars to Russia and I think that’s very inappropriate.”

The Associated Press noted that Trump was likely referring to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline — a pipeline that would bring gas from Russia to Germany’s northeastern Baltic coast. Trump had tried to convince German Chancellor Angela Merkel to drop support for the pipeline back in April. 

Trump also said Germany was "totally controlled" by and "captive to" Russia. 

 “I think that two world wars and the Cold War taught us that we are stronger together than apart,” Stoltenberg replied while pushing back against Trump's accusations.

Trump is scheduled to meet with Merkel later Wednesday. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said he plans to echo his prior concerns about Germany's support for the Russian gas deal. 

The growing tensions at the NATO summit come after Trump refused to sign a joint communique after meeting with G-7 members in June. That summit centered around the tariffs that Trump had recently against allies such as Canada and Mexico.