DONALD Trump arrived at the NATO summit yesterday morning and immediately attacked German Chancellor Angela Merkel, accusing her of being “captive” to Russia.

The President also called for the member states to commit to spending 4% of their GDP on defence.

The current target for NATO countries is 2% of GDP, though only five, including the UK, out of the 29 manage that.

Trump said Germany was a “rich country” that could boost defence spending “immediately”.

The America First politician has questioned the value of NATO in the run up to this summit, and has left the other members of the alliance concerned that he could be about to break it up, especially given that the meeting comes days before Trump meets Vladimir Putin, one of the alliance’s biggest critics.

Speaking to Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary-general, in a televised breakfast meeting, Trump said: “Germany is a captive of Russia?.?.?.?They’re getting so much of the oil and gas from Russia,” the President said, referring to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline which will allow Germany to bypass Nato allies to the east and increase gas imports directly from Russia.

He added: “It certainly doesn’t seem to make sense that they paid billions of dollars to Russia and now we have to defend them against Russia.”

Stoltenberg stressed the importance of unity in the alliance, saying “The strength of NATO is that despite these differences, we have always been able to unite around our core task to protect and defend each other because we understand that we are stronger together than apart.”

Trump replied: “How can you be together when a country is getting its energy from the person you want protection against or from the group that you want protection?”

Merkel later hit back, saying that she, as an East German, knew what it was like to live under the rule of Moscow.

“I’ve experienced myself a part of Germany controlled by the Soviet Union, and I’m very happy today that we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany,” she said. “We can determine our own policies and make our own decisions, and that’s very good.” Merkel added that Berlin would spend 80% more on defence by 2024 than a decade earlier.

Trump’s comments drew a strong rebuke from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.