Ahead of this week's NATO summit in Brussels, President Trump has continually condemned the alliance and its members, saying at a rally last week, "I don't know how much protection we get" by protecting allies like Germany. German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday responded to Trump's criticism, pointing out that "Article 5, collective defense, has been triggered once": after 9/11. "We all stood side by side with our American friends," she pointed out. While Trump has called the agreement "very unfair" and called the U.S. "schmucks" for paying for it, von der Leyen said it was important to defend "common values" like the rule of law, democracy, and human rights. Meetings between NATO heads begin Wednesday.
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