Former Acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell, a former ambassador to Germany, insisted Friday on Newsmax that he enjoyed working with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, but the Trump administration had differences with how much the nation pays to participate in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
"She's very focused and a great leader for Germany," said Grenell on Newsmax's "National Report," while world leaders are meeting for the annual G-7 summit. "We just have differences with the way that the Germans participate in the transatlantic alliance. They've got a surplus and they're not paying their fair share."
The Germans, he continued, want American leaders who don't bring that up and allow them "to continue on this very cushy relationship.
"They have an entire think tank community that really works very hard to say 'don't challenge us. We don't want Americans or westerners who are going to upset our apple cart,'" Grenell added.
But still, Germany is doing well with a huge surplus and with being the largest economy in Europe, he said.
"I just think that if you are going to be fighting for Americans, if you're paid by American taxpayers, then you've got to go there and fight for Americans to get their fair share too," Grenell said. "Look, there's a beautiful opera house on almost every corner in every mid-sized city in Germany. They pay for health care and education for their people."
But, he added, "when I was in Germany, I would constantly go around and make speeches and say, be careful what you teach Americans because if you're going to teach Americans that you just get to spend money domestically on yourself, and you don't have to think about the rest of the world well, what happens when Americans follow that? And we start just paying for ourselves. That's going to be a real problem for Germany. "
Meanwhile, Germany "loves" that the United States has waived sanctions to allow the construction of the Nord Storm pipeline from Russia, said Grenell.
"This is Chancellor Merkel's swan song," he said. "She got her Russian pipeline. This is a fantastic bow on her career. The elections that are going on in Germany for September, the Green Party which is very different than than than what we would think of a green party here, is coming on strong and they are against the Nord Stream Two pipeline."
American policy has long been that the first Nord Stream pipeline is okay, as there should be some Russian gas in Europe's diversification of energy, said Grenell, but a second pipeline goes too far.
Meanwhile, China should also be at the top of discussions at this week's G-7 summit, said Grenell.
"You've got to have a policy, a trade policy that also thinks about the fact that you're dealing with Communist China and human rights abuses," he said. "They don't want to think like that. They want to be friends with everybody. They don't have the same threat as we do from China, and so the threat assessment that Europeans do when looking at China is much different. We need to use our leverage to make sure that they're thinking about the threat assessment, you know."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.