After U.S. President Donald Trump wasted no time making a complete fool of himself on the world stage at the NATO summit on Wednesday by accusing Germany of being “totally controlled by Russia,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel quickly hit back at the American president by informing him that she “experienced the Soviet occupation of one part of Germany” herself and concluding “it is good that we are independent today.”
“I am very happy that today we are united in freedom, the Federal Republic of Germany,” Merkel said after she arrived at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday. “Because of that we can say that we can make our independent policies and make independent decisions. That is very good, especially for people in eastern Germany.”
Trump—whose presidential campaign is currently under investigation for possible collusion with the Russian government—launched his attack on Germany and other U.S. allies during breakfast with members of his cabinet, NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg, and other alliance officials.
“Germany is a captive of Russia,” Trump declared, kicking off two days of NATO meetings that come ahead of his scheduled meeting in Finland with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “I think it’s something that NATO has to look at.”