Russian Federation uses gas supplies to control Germany, said US President Donald Trump on Wednesday. As for Britain being in turmoil, "The prime minister is looking forward to showing the president the United Kingdom, and is confident he'll leave with a very positive impression", Slack told reporters in London.
Though she said that Germany did have "a lot of issues with Russian Federation", she noted that it was important to "keep the communication line between countries or alliances and opponents" open.
"We are stronger together", Stoltenberg insisted, but acknowledged that there can be differences among allies. Trump's trade adviser Peter Navarro went as far as telling a US talk show that there was "a special place in hell" for Trudeau - a remark he later walked back.
Trump's weeklong trip to Europe will continue with a stop in Scotland before ending with a sit-down in Helsinki with Putin. Journalists will not be allowed to cover either meeting, she said.
The dramatic exchange set the tone for what was already expected to be a tense day of meetings with leaders of the military alliance.
"The United States is spending far too much and other countries are not paying enough, especially some. Not fair to the USA taxpayer", Trump tweeted.
That's not how the spending works.
"We do have a lot of allies, but we can't be taken advantage of", he said.
Of Nato's 29 members, just five meet that target this year: the US, Greece, Estonia, the United Kingdom and Latvia. "Well they could increase it immediately, tomorrow, and have no problem", Trump said. He also called Brussels a "hell hole" and "a mess".
"You have to wonder why the Europeans profess so much interest in the health of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and worry so much about the Russian threat and then they can't meet the pretty low 2 percent of GDP figure that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation agreed to recently".
"Europeans spend on defense many times more than Russian Federation and as much as China and I think you have no doubt, Mr. President, that this is an investment in common American and European defense and security, which can not be said with confidence about Russian Federation or Chinese spending", Tusk said.
Trump interjected, asking Stoltenberg why he thought that had happened.
Mitch McConnell, who holds wide influence as the Republican leader of the Senate, was asked on July 10 about Trump's threats to the alliance.
"I have experienced myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union", she said of her youth in Communist East Germany. "Other presidents never did anything about it because i don't think they understood it, or they just didn't want to get involved", Trump suggested, warning he would take a very different approach. "He may be the only one, but that's OK with me".
The meeting of Western leaders in Brussels has the potential to turn into another public bust-up following a divisive and bad-tempered summit of G7 nations in Canada in June.
Trump then heads to Helsinki to meet Putin.
European Council President Donald Tusk addressed Trump's criticism, telling the U.S. President to "appreciate your allies, after all you don't have that many", at an E.U.