President Trump criticized Germany on Saturday for paying too little to both NATO and the United States for security support , a day after he held a chilly meeting at the White House with Chancellor Angela Merkel that showcased the two leaders’ disagreements.
“Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel,” Mr. Trump wrote in a post on Twitter as he began his weekend at Mar-a-Lago, his estate in Palm Beach, Fla.
“Nevertheless, Germany owes vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!” he continued.
The message was misleading because no nation actually “owes” money to NATO; its direct funding is calculated through a formula and paid by each of the 28 nations that are members.
Mr. Trump may have been referring to the fact that Germany, like most NATO countries, falls short of the alliance’s guideline that each member should allocate 2 percent of its gross domestic product to military spending, but that money is not intended to be paid to NATO or to the United States.