"I've never seen a President say anything as odd or counterproductive as President Trump's harangue against North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and Germany", Kerry said in a statement distributed over Twitter. "We're protecting everybody. And yet we're paying a lot of money to protect". So far I've avoided conspiracy theories and still believe the president is brainwashing himself with a mindset that prefers dictators to democrats and views alliances as burdens. "And the meeting next week in Helsinki between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will confirm that Ukraine is on the frontline of European and transatlantic politics", the president wrote.
In a startling public outburst against one of Europe's main military powers, Trump told NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that Germany was wrong to support a new $11 billion Baltic Sea pipeline to import Russian gas while being slow to meet targets for NATO spending to protect against Russia.
The pair later met for a one-on-one meeting and while Trump insisted they had a "very very good relationship", their frosty body language suggested otherwise. Washington spends 3.57 percent of its GDP on its own defense, but most of that money goes for USA security in Asia.
President Trump publicly criticized Germany over its Baltic Sea gas pipeline deal with Russian Federation, calling the wealthiest nation in the European Union "a captive to Russian Federation".
The president says it's "inappropriate" that the United States is investing in European defense against Russian Federation while Germany, the EU's largest economy, is working on major energy deals with Moscow.
The US president accused Germany of only spending "a little bit over 1 percent" of its economic output on defence compared to the 4.2 percent spent by the US "in actual numbers".
But back in Washington, Trump's handling of the US' NATO allies was not going down well.
Lisa Murkowski says she needs more information on Supreme Court nominee
Republicans, meanwhile, hope centrist Democrats running for re-election in conservative-leaning states will back Kavanaugh. As GOP Senate leader, McConnell, R-Ky., is the master kingmaker who will champion Kavanaugh's nomination on the floor.
At the end of the first session of a two-day summit, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the aim first was to reach 2 percent, but moments later Trump tweeted that allies were undercutting the USA on trade and needed to immediately boost spending.
"I think the secretary-general likes Trump", he said, alluding to allies' stepping up their military spending in response to his pressure tactics.
Yet Mr. Trump's warnings about the pipeline's strategic dimension would be more persuasive if he weren't also as busy as Mr. Schröder playing down the strategic threat posed by Mr. Putin. "All #NATOallies have committed to extending this success through increased defense spending, deterrence and defense, and fighting terrorism".
"I myself have also experienced a part of Germany being controlled by the Soviet Union", she said. "Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025".
The meeting brought together Mr Trump and Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau, who irritated the USA president at the G7 by declaring that his country would not be pushed around.
The NATO summit is usually a chance for member nations to reaffirm their commitment to an alliance that focuses on Afghanistan, Syria, Ukraine and other world hotspots.