The top two Democratic leaders Wednesday denounced President Donald Trump‘s criticism of Germany during the NATO Summit in Brussels, saying his comments show that the president is more closely allied with Russian President Vladimir Putin than NATO allies.
“President Trump’s brazen insults and denigration of one of America’s most steadfast allies, Germany, is an embarrassment,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement. “His behavior this morning is another profoundly disturbing signal that the President is more loyal to President Putin than to our NATO allies.”
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Trump at a breakfast prior to the summit said that Germany is “totally controlled by Russia,” and attacked the country’s involvement in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project with the Kremlin.
“I think it’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia, where you’re supposed to be guarding against Russia and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia,” Trump said.
Republican Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch also broke with the president over his comments, saying he “doesn’t agree” that Germany is controlled by Russia.
Pelosi and Schumer also called on Trump to leave his meeting with Putin with plans for a “full cessation of Russian attacks” and to not “sell out our democracy to Putin.”
“If the President leaves the Putin meeting without ironclad assurances and concrete steps toward a full cessation of Russian attacks on our democracy, this meeting will not only be a failure — it will be a grave step backward for the future of the international order and global security,” the pair said in a joint statement. “A successful meeting means real action, now.“
They added that it’s Trump’s duty as commander in chief to “protect the American people from foreign threats, not to sell out our democracy to Putin.”
Trump will meet with Putin on July 16 in Helsinki, Finland. The president is currently in Brussels for the NATO summit.