President Donald Trump gave German Chancellor Angela Merkel a $300 billion invoice for money her country owes the United States for military protection.
The $300 billion invoice, which Trump reportedly handed over to Merkel during private talks in Washington, was described as “brilliant” by Jason Kessler of Unity and Security for America, a non-interventionist grassroots lobbying group.
“We’re happy that the President of the United States is finally doing something to put America first,” said Kessler. “By giving Merkel the $300 billion invoice, Trump is highlighting the billions of tax dollars that Americans wasted defending countries like Germany that refuse to defend themselves.”
The $300 billion invoice covers the money that Germany pledged to contribute to NATO plus interest, according to The Independent.
The invoice, however, received criticism from German officials, one of whom called it “outrageous.”
“The concept behind putting out such demands is to intimidate the other side, but the chancellor took it calmly and will not respond to such provocations,” a German minister reportedly said.
All NATO countries pledged to spend at least 2% of their GDP on their military, but the only countries that have upheld this pledge are the United States, United Kingdom, Poland, Estonia, and Greece.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump famously criticized other NATO countries for refusing to spend their fair share on the military and even questioned the need for NATO.
“Americans need to start looking at NATO and seriously ask themselves if it’s worth the cost,” Jason Kessler said. “While we spend nearly a trillion dollars each year to defend countries like Germany, Italy, France, and Spain, our roads and bridges back home are crumbling.”
“Meanwhile, these European countries are spending billions of dollars on hugely expensive social welfare programs like universal health care and child care,” Kessler added. “Is it really fair to force American taxpayers to pay to defend the lavish lifestyle of our so-called NATO ‘allies’?”