Sen. Angus King, Maine independent. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Sen. Angus King[1] promoted NATO[2] unity Monday morning after President Trump[3] accused Germany of being “controlled” by Russia.

Mr. King[4], Maine independent, acknowledged during an interview on CNN’s “New Day” that Mr. Trump[5] did have a good point in critiquing the oil deal between the NATO[6] ally and Russia.

The senator said the pipeline is a separate issue from NATO[7] and originated in 2002 when Russia was seen in a more positive light. He emphasized that “clearly it’s a concern.”

Mr. King[8] did correct the president’s numbers on the issues. Mr. King[9] said he believed the oil deal only accounted for 20 percent of Germany’s energy, while Mr. Trump[10] claimed it was around 60 or 70 percent.

Mr. King[11] also defended Mr. Trump[12]’s calls for countries to pay more. The payments from fellow European allies to defense has been a problem plaguing presidents since Eisenhower, he explained.

However, Mr. King[13] stressed that the president should focus on promoting NATO[14].

“The real overriding importance of this summit is unity in the face of newfound Russian aggression throughout Europe and the Middle East,” he said.

While Mr. King[15] acknowledged the president had a point calling for member states to step up, the senator said the situation, while improving, shouldn’t become a divisive issue....

“It’s like turning a family squabble into divorce proceedings,” Mr. King[16] said.

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