Sen. Orrin Hatch took aim at President Donald Trump’s assertion that Germany is "totally controlled by Russia" Wednesday, nevertheless he doesn’t agree and that the U.S. leader might be "too critical."
"I can’t are in agreement with that," the Utah Republican told reporters. "The governments wouldn’t go along with that."
Story Continued Below
Hatch began to attest to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, explaining that they recently met and hubby has "the greatest opinion" of her and her government.
"They are really good people," Hatch said. "I simply met personally with Angela Merkel, i have the actual highest opinion of her, and people who are together with her.
"I feel sometimes [Trump] can be too critical on the other counterparts, and that i do not think he ought to be critical," the senator continued. "She’s great."
Trump made the controversial claim Wednesday along at the opening of a eagerly anticipated NATO summit in Brussels. His remarks, that were broadcast live, took many of those present without warning.
"I want to say, I’m sure it is very sad when Germany takes its massive oil and coal address Russia where we’re said to be guarding against Russia," Trump said over breakfast with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. "We’re designed to protect you from Russia, but you’re paying billions of dollars to Russia, but that’s very inappropriate."
Trump was referencing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which happens to be slated to provide gas from Russia to Germany. The U.S. and several EU members oppose the work, believing it could give Vladimir Putin with additional hold across the country and also the surrounding region.
Merkel pushed back against Trump’s claim later on that day, telling reporters that her nation is "united in freedom." Referencing her childhood maturing in communist Germany, the chancellor underscored the nation’s capacity to assert its autonomy.
"I’ve experienced myself part of Germany controlled because of the Ussr with this particular pleased today that we’re united in freedom as being the Federal Republic of Germany," Merkel said. "[I] can thus state that we could determine our policies and earn our decisions."
Emmanuel Macron also spoke out with the accusation. Asked whether he agreed with Trump’s earlier statements, french president responded “no.”