Merkel fires back after Trump says Germany is 'totally controlled' by Russia

Merkel fires back after Trump says Germany is 'totally controlled' by Russia
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday fired back at President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republican threatens to push for Rosenstein impeachment unless he testifies Judge suggests Trump’s tweet about Stormy Daniels was ‘hyperbole’ not defamation Rosenstein faces Trump showdown MORE's claim that Germany was controlled by Russia, saying that it is "united in freedom" and makes independent policies and decisions.

"I have experienced myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union," Merkel said, referring to her childhood in communist East Germany, according to Reuters. "I'm very glad that today we are united in freedom ... because of that we can say that we can make our independent policies and make independent decisions."

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Her comments came in response to earlier attacks at the beginning of the NATO summit  from Trump, who said that Germany was "totally controlled" by and "captive to" Russia. 

Trump made the attacks during a breakfast with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. His remarks appeared to be based on a deal Germany struck with Russia that would bring gas from Russia to Germany’s Baltic coast.

Trump had previously tried to convince Merkel to drop support for the pipeline back in April. 

Merkel also defended Germany's contribution to the NATO alliance, which Trump has repeatedly said puts too much strain on U.S. taxpayers. 

Trump's statements about Germany and NATO led to growing tensions before the NATO summit even began on Wednesday. A NATO official said that expectations were very low because of his continued hostility toward Germany, according to The Wall Street Journal.