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    ‘Strange’ and ‘counterproductive’: Kerry slams Trump’s remarks at NATO summit

    “I’ve never seen a president say anything as strange and counterproductive as President Trump’s harangue against NATO and Germany,” John Kerry wrote. “It was disgraceful, destructive, and flies in the face of the actual interests of the United States of America.”
    LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images
    “I’ve never seen a president say anything as strange or counterproductive as President Trump’s harangue against NATO and Germany,” John Kerry wrote. “It was disgraceful, destructive, and flies in the face of the actual interests of the United States of America.”

    Former secretary of state John Kerry blasted President Trump’s criticism of Germany in a lengthy statement on Wednesday morning as “strange,” “counterproductive,” and “disgraceful.”

    Kerry was responding to comments Trump made at a NATO summit in Brussels on Wednesday in which he claimed Germany was “totally controlled” by and “captive to Russia.”

    ‘‘I have to say, I think it’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia where we’re supposed to be guarding against Russia,’’ Trump said at breakfast with the leader of NATO. ‘‘We’re supposed to protect you against Russia but they’re paying billions of dollars to Russia and I think that’s very inappropriate.’’

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    In his statement posted on Twitter, Kerry said Trump’s broadside against an American ally had weakened the United States.

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    “I’ve never seen a president say anything as strange or counterproductive as President Trump’s harangue against NATO and Germany,” Kerry began. “It was disgraceful, destructive, and flies in the face of the actual interests of the United States of America.”

    The former senator from Massachusetts chided Trump over his performance at a meeting with NATO leaders last year and questioned why he would return.

    “He is steadily destroying our reputation in the world. He is undermining our interests. He diminishes alliances we built to safeguard an economic and strategic force that has allowed millions of people to live in freedom,” Kerry continued.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel also responded Wednesday to Trump’s remarks, offering Trump something of a history lesson.

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    ‘‘I’ve experienced myself a part of Germany controlled by the Soviet Union and I’m very happy today that we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany and can thus say that we can determine our own policies and make our own decisions and that’s very good,’’ she said.

    Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Christina Prignano can be reached at christina.prignano@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @cprignano.