RUSSIAN OBSESSION: Schumer Says Trump 'SELLING OUT DEMOCRACY' to Putin

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 Summit

"We're supposed to be guarding against Russia and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia", Trump said in the presence of reporters at a pre-summit meeting at the residence of the USA ambassador to Belgium.

US President Donald Trump informally proposed members spend 4% of GDP up from 2%.

Having lambasted North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members for failing to reach a target of spending 2 percent of national income on defence, Trump told fellow leaders in Brussels he would prefer a goal of 4 percent, similar to USA levels, officials said.

Theresa May has asked Donald Trump to raise the issue of Russian aggression against the west, including the Salisbury nerve agent attack, when he meets Vladimir Putin for high-stakes talks next week.

"This year, since our last meeting, commitments have been made for over $40 billion more money spent by other countries".

Mr Trump earlier claimed that Germany was "captive to Russia".

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"This has gone on for many presidents. In that we also defend the interests of the United States".

"We have agreed that we're committed to the pledge increasing defense spending to 2%".

His comments come only hours before he's due to meet German chancellor Angela Merkel on the side lines of the summit in Brussels.

Germany indeed devotes only about 1.25 percent of its GDP to defense.

"We are partners, we are good partners, and we will continue to cooperate in the future", she said. "This has been brought up by other presidents". "To me, this is nearly like propaganda, it really tells you how far out we're getting here and what sort of an influence that Trump is able to exert".

The comment illustrated how Trump often seeks to avoid conflict with people when he is face to face with them versus the often-harsher rhetoric he uses when he's talking behind their back.

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"Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!", he tweeted last month before tearing into the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its former director James Comey.

Trump said it was "very inappropriate" that the U.S. is contributing to the defence of Europe when one of its richest countries is supporting a major energy project with Moscow. House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters on Capitol Hill that "NATO is indispensable".

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Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch also took issue with Trump, saying "I don't agree with that". Because of that we can say that we can make our independent policies and make independent decisions.

"I think we can cope with it", von der Leyen said.

Mrs Merkel offered a stern rebuke to the US President, harking back to her past after growing up in Soviet-controlled former religion of East Germany. "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".

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"We are investing heavily in the German armed forces and other European countries too, because the armed forces need it". We're protecting France. We're protecting all of these countries. "On that point the American friends have a point", von der Leyen said.

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