Tags: marc thornberry | trump | germany | russia | pipeline

Thornberry: Trump Right to Question Germany-Russia Pipeline Plans

(Fox News/"America's Newsroom")

By    |   Wednesday, 11 July 2018 02:08 PM

President Donald Trump's was "exactly right" to call out Germany for its oil and gas pipeline project with Russia reflected a matter that has been a "key issue of concern" for Congress for some time as Europe should look to the West for its energy purchases, Rep. Mac Thornberry said Wednesday.

"As a matter of fact, last year, Congress passed a bill that not only condemned the pipeline, but levied sanctions against companies that helped build it because the bottom line truth is, when Europe buys energy from Russia, they help fund Russian military aggression," the Texas Republican and House Armed Services Committee chairman told Fox News' "America's Newsroom."

"The president is exactly right to raise this," Thornberry added. "Members of Congress have been raising it for the past four years in meetings with the Germans and others."

Trump on Wednesday, during an exchange over breakfast with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other officials, complained that the United States is protecting Germany after it made a "massive oil and gas deal with Russia, where we're supposed to be guarding against Russia.

Thornberry said Trump, by bringing up the Nord Stream gas pipeline project, put a key issue at "front and center" where it needs to be discussed. The planned structure is to reach for 800 miles under the Baltic Sea.

"For too long, the United States would not or could not sell energy to Germany and other European countries," said Thornberry.

"We've started to turn that around. Congress lifted the ban on exporting oil. We have begun to actually build export terminals so natural gas can be shipped to Europe. We are doing better. We need Germany to do better to look to the west for their energy, not fund the Russian military."

Thornberry said it's likely NATO will also push back on Trump's call for other countries to spend more money on defense.

"Twenty-seven of the 28 [countries] increased defense spending last year, which is a welcome change in the direction things had been going," said Thornberry. "A lot of them still don't spend enough and I think the president is right to keep the pressure on."

He also said he thinks it is "fine" for Trump to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, but he should be careful about agreeing to anything. He also said he thinks NATO can withstand differences over pipelines or spending.

"Some of this is kind of like the disagreements you have in your family," said Thornberry. "You know that the bonds that unite you are far stronger than the differences you have. Sometimes the rhetoric can be pretty heated in family discussions, but NATO is the most successful alliance in the history of the world.

"It can withstand these differences over pipelines or over defense spending. I think all the NATO countries understand Russian military aggression, what it has done, the threat it poses. It is those bonds that unite us are still stronger than these differences."

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Rep. Mac Thornberry says President Donald Trump's was "exactly right" to call out Germany for its oil and gas pipeline project with Russia.
marc thornberry, trump, germany, russia, pipeline
Wednesday, 11 July 2018 02:08 PM
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