May 30, 2017
Trump tweets on Germany: "This will change"
On his first full working day since returning from his overseas trip, President Trump tweeted: "We have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO & military. Very bad for U.S. This will change..."
- Why it matters: Germany spends 1.19% of its GDP on defense, compared to the 3.61% the U.S. spends and the 2% requirement from NATO. Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have previously discussed NATO spending, and one of our sources told Axios that Trump has mentioned to Merkel the U.S. feels taken advantage of.
- Don't forget: Trump criticized NATO partners during their May 25 meeting saying, "Members of the alliance must finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations." And he reportedly called Germany "bad, very bad," which Sean Spicer later denied on Twitter.