Germany spends 1.24 percent of GDP on defense. Ahead of his trip to Europe, where he will attend NATO's annual summit before heading to the United Kingdom and then flying to Helsinki for a sit-down with Putin, Trump said the meeting with Putin "may be the easiest" on his trip.
"He suggested that countries not only meet their commitment of 2 per cent of their GDP on defense spending, but that they increase it to 4 per cent", Sarah Sanders told reporters.
Germany's plan to increase its defence expenditure to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation target of 2% of GDP by 2030. was not good enough, Trump said, adding: "They could do it tomorrow".
"NATO is an an alliance of 29 nations and sometimes there are differences and different views and also some disagreements, and the gas pipeline from Russian Federation to Germany is one issue where allies disagree", said Stoltenberg.
Trump has spent weeks berating members of the alliance for failing to increase military spending, accusing Europe of freeloading off the US and even raising doubts about whether he would come to members' defense as required if they were ever attacked.
"But I have to bring it up because I think it's very unfair to our country, it's very unfair to our taxpayer", he said. "We're supposed to be guarding against Russian Federation, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russian Federation". But the two appeared on good terms, with Trump joking about the fact that Macron had been asked about it.
"NATO and the transatlantic geographical area is only a part of what the United States military does".
Kerry responded with a lengthy statement Wednesday, calling Trump's missives against United States allies "disgraceful" and "destructive".
"So we are going to have a meeting on that and the Secretary General has worked very hard on that and he understands the problem". Because of that we can say that we can make our independent policies and make independent decisions. "So, I think that's inappropriate also".
The meeting brought together Mr Trump and Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau, who irritated the USA president at the G7 by declaring that his country would not be pushed around. "Where energy supply is concerned, we diversify, but the main overarching topic is the summit - we want a summit that sends out the message of unity".
"We are investing heavily in the German armed forces and other European countries too, because the armed forces need it. On that point the American friends have a point", von der Leyen said.