Jul 11, 2018 - World

Trump trashes Germany as NATO summit kicks off

President Trump has breakfast before the start of the NATO summit. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump accused Germany of being "totally controlled by Russia" due to its energy deals with Moscow shortly after arriving at the NATO summit in Brussels this morning — and doubled down on his claims that European allies owe the United States for years of "protection."

Between the lines: Trump's warm rhetoric toward Russia has worried allies, particularly with a Trump-Putin summit looming just after the NATO meeting. His comments mark an inauspicious start to a summit that many fear could be as disastrous as last month's G7 gathering — but with even bigger stakes, given NATO's collective defense requirements.

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