Trump claims Germany is 'totally controlled' by Russian Federation

Moscow drafts a blueprint for the Putin-Trump summit in Helsinki

In a bilateral breakfast meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in front of reporters, Trump immediately launched into a tirade about the pipeline.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I think it's very sad when Germany make as massive oil and gas deal with Russia when you're supposed to supposed to be guarding against Russia and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia. "So we're supposed to protect you against Russian Federation, but they're paying billions of dollars to Russian Federation".

The president's tweet about Germany came after he had what he described as a "great meeting" with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Referring to her own past living in the now defunct East Germany, Ms Merkel added: "I personally experienced how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union". "Since Trump became president, USA funding for military presence in Europe - the European Deterrence Initiative -has been increased by 40 percent". He said North Atlantic Treaty Organisation benefits Europe "far more than it does the U.S". "But no other president brought it up like I bring it up.it's an unfair burden on the United States".

"They will spend more", he later predicted. "But other presidents never did anything about it because I don't think they'd up it or wanted to get involved", Trump said. The U.S. intelligence community, backed by a Republican-led Senate panel, has definitively concluded that Kremlin meddled in the 2016 election to help Trump win.

Another strong jobs report. Here's why unemployment jumped
Nearly half of June's construction jobs increase (+13,000) occurred in the "heavy and civil engineering" category, +6,000. Analysts have been puzzled by the consistency of the modest gain in wages irrespective of the growth.

In his statement posted on Twitter, Kerry said Trump's broadside against an American ally had weakened the United States. "So, I think that's inappropriate also". Germans wouldn't agree with that.

John Kelly, Mr Trump's chief of staff, and Mike Pompeo, his secretary of state, sat silently alongside Mr Trump as he delivered the criticism across the table to Mr Stoltenberg. "That is very good, especially for people in eastern Germany". Asked if they had discussed the pipeline, he said they had, but declined to elaborate. "We are good partners, and we wish to continue to cooperate in the future".

German Prime Minister Merkel hit back immediately, not only denying Trump's contention but suggesting that his comfortable upbringing in the US gave him no standing to spout off on the world stage about Germany.

Around eight members of the 29-country alliance are expected to reach the 2% target this year. An investigation into Russia's meddling and its links to the Trump campaign is ongoing.

Trump has promoted exports of US natural gas to Europe as an alternative to Russian Federation as a supply source, although USA gas is far more costly because of the expense of shipping it.

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