"Germany is totally controlled by Russia," Trump said.
President Donald Trump had some harsh words for Germany as the NATO summit kicked off in Brussels Wednesday.
During a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump accused Germany of being "a captive of Russia" because of its reliance on Russian energy, calling their relationship "inappropriate."
"They got rid of their coal plants, they got rid of the nuclear. They are getting so much of the oil and gas from Russia," Trump said.
Here's why Trump is upset. Germany has been pursuing a pipeline for years that would carry Russian natural gas underneath the Baltic Sea to central Europe, despite criticism from the U.S. and other countries.
And Trump says it's unfair that the U.S. is paying for European defense against Russia while Germany is supporting energy deals with Moscow.
"It certainly doesn't seem to make sense that they pay billions of dollars to Russia, and now we have to defend them against Russia," Trump said.
It didn't take long for German Chancellor Angela Merkel to respond to Trump's comments.
The Guardian quotes her as saying, "I have experienced myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union. I am very happy that today we are united in freedom, the Federal Republic of Germany."
Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.