German officials told The Sunday Times that President Trump handed German Chancellor Angela Merkel a fake physical bill for NATO spending, "charging" Germany 300 billion pounds (roughly $374 billion) during her visit to the U.S. earlier this month.
Trump has repeatedly criticized NATO countries, including Germany, for not spending enough on military commitments.
Multiple White House spokesmen told The Independent reports of the invoice were untrue.
NATO countries pledged in 2014 to invest 2 percent of their GDP in defence spending. So far, only the U.S., Poland, Estonia, Greece and Poland have met that total. The 300 billion pounds was a U.S. estimate of how far short Germany's spending fell.
The concept behind putting out such demands is to intimidate the other side, but the chancellor took it calmly and will not respond ...
A German official dismissed the bill as a stunt and said Merkel rejected it, the Times reported. She did pledge to increase German defense spending during the visit, however.
Another anonymous German official denied that the invoice existed, BuzzFeed News reports.
Reports of the invoice drew harsh responses from Trump critics.
If Trump gave Germany a bill for "NATO Dues"...— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) March 27, 2017
Can I give Trump a bill for Mar-a-Lago dues since my tax dollars went to his vacation?
But some dismissed the story as fake news.
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