Berlin has given political support to the building of a new, $11-billion pipeline to bring Russian gas across the Baltic Sea called Nord Stream 2, despite qualms among other European Union states. Most NATO members are spending less than 2 percent, though more are moving in that direction.
"Germany is a captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia", Trump said, taking particular aim at the proposed Nord Stream II gas pipeline, which he has previously criticised.
Diplomats were already anxious about the summit ahead of time, not least because of an abrasive G7 meeting last month, when Mr Trump renounced a summit communique that had previously been jointly agreed. "But Germany is totally controlled by Russia", Trump declared. In 2017, the U.S.is estimated to have spent more than 69% of the cumulative total.
Trump also is expected to meet with French president Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
"The fact that a Putin-Trump meeting will happen says only one thing: that for all its hysteria, the United States is not able to isolate or ignore Russia", said Alexei Pushkov, a prominent Russian senator from the ruling United Russia party.
"We're supposed to protect you against Russian Federation", he told Stoltenberg, "but they're paying billions of dollars to Russian Federation and I think that's very inappropriate".
Brussels is the first stop of Trump's week-long European tour that will include a visit to Britain and a meeting in Finland with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Schumer's warning comes a day after Trump said his easiest meeting on his foreign trip to Europe over the next week could be his sit-down with Putin.
In a stunning back and forth at Wednesday morning's bilateral breakfast at the ambassador's residence in Brussels, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg defended NATO's alliance as Trump continued to lob attacks on Germany. I think he's right about the spending levels. NATO acknowledges an "over-reliance" on the U.S. What NATO partners dispute is Trump's repeated suggestion that the U.S. gets little in return for its commitment to defend member countries if threatened.
"I am very happy that today we are united in freedom, the Federal Republic of Germany", Merkel added. "So, I think that's inappropriate also". "Well they could increase it immediately, tomorrow, and have no problem".
While Canada spends less than some, it has the best equipment interoperability in the alliance - meaning it's a reliable partner for the USA on missions overseas, he said.
At last year's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, tongues wagged after Trump appeared to shove Prime Minister Dusko Markovic of Montenegro to get to the front of the group as leaders entered the alliance's new headquarters building. "We're protecting everybody", he said.
First, he said, the president's claim that the U.S.is "spending far more on NATO" than its allies is misleading.