“We are protecting Germany, we are protecting France, we are protecting all of these countries and then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they are paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia. I think that is very inappropriate.”
He added: “It should never have been allowed to happen. Germany is totally controlled by Russia because they will be getting 60-70% of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline.
“You tell me if that’s appropriate because I think it’s not. On top of that Germany is just paying just a little bit over 1% [of GDP on Nato defence contributions] whereas the United States is paying 4.2% of a much larger GDP. So I think that’s inappropriate also.”
His comments were linked to his push for other European countries – particularly Germany – to pay more for Nato’s defence needs.
“I think it is unfair,” Trump said. Other US presidents had raised European defence spending levels in the past but he was intent on dealing with it. “We can’t put up with it,” he said.