President Donald Trump had an awkward photo moment at the NATO summit in Brussels on Wednesday, standing around by himself as he and the other leaders gathered for an official picture.
The president was among the last to enter the room for the photo, walking in with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan before standing in the middle of the group and appearing to be ignored by his contemporaries.
Footage from the gathering at the two-day summit appears to underscore the president’s isolation from the group—with his comments on NATO surely doing little to ease relations with fellow members.
Speaking at a press conference in Brussels ahead of the two-day summit, Trump complained that Russia enjoyed undue influence over Germany thanks to “inappropriate” oil and gas deals.
“Germany is totally controlled by Russia… They will be getting between 60 and 70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline, and you tell me if that is appropriate because I think it’s not,” the president said.
“I think it is a very bad thing for NATO and I don’t think it should have happened and I think we have to talk to Germany about it. On top of that, Germany is just paying a little bit over 1 percent [on defense]… and I think that is inappropriate also,” Trump said.
The President doubled down on previous complaints that the U.S. is spending more on defense than other NATO allies, prompting German Chancellor Angela Merkel to hit back with comments that no one but Germany makes its decisions.
– HARRIET SINCLAIR I Newsweek