Merkel: Russia, US meetings should become ‘normal’

Merkel: Russia, US meetings should become ‘normal’
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday said that it “must once again become normal” for Russian and U.S. presidents to meet after the White House invited Putin to Washington for a second meeting.

“In principle, it’s always good for everyone when there are talks, particularly when there are talks between these two countries,” Merkel said at a press conference, according to the Associated Press.

The White House said Thursday that an invitation had been extended to Putin for a meeting in D.C. this fall, just days after Putin and Trump met in Finland.

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Some lawmakers, including Senate Republicans, are pushing back against the prospect of a second summit so soon after the two leaders met privately for two hours this week.

Merkel also hit back against Trump’s comments earlier this week questioning if the U.S. should be obligated to defend all NATO members.

She said she is “glad that Montenegro is a member” of NATO, and that the group’s Article 5 calling for member nations to defend other nations under attack is “a central element of NATO.”

“I believe this Article 5 valid for all NATO member states, not just for big ones or small ones or for some,” Merkel said, according to the AP.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson asked Trump in an interview that aired Tuesday why his son should “go to Montenegro to defend it from attack?"

“I’ve asked the same question," Trump replied. ”Montenegro is a tiny country with very strong people ... They are very aggressive people, they may get aggressive, and congratulations, you are in World War III."