Trump reportedly handed Merkel $374 billion invoice for NATO

Trump reportedly handed Merkel $374 billion invoice for NATO

US President Donald Trump handed German Chancellor Angela Merkel a bill for money supposedly owed to NATO when they met last weekend in Washington DC, the Sunday Times reported.

The gesture was “outrageous,” the paper quoted an unnamed German minister as saying. “The concept behind putting out such demands is to intimidate the other side, but the chancellor took it calmly and will not respond to such provocations,” the minister is further cited as saying.

According to the Times, the bill handed to Merkel was thought to be for more than $300 billion. It was reportedly calculated by adding the amounts by which Germany have fallen short on annual payments to NATO since 2002 — and adding interest.

Each NATO member is meant to spend 2% of their gross domestic product annually on defense. Germany is increasing military spending, but its contribution is still seen falling well short of the 2-percent goal this year.