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The Latest: Trump: Relations with Germany are ‘tremendous’

BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s trip to Europe (all times local):

4 p.m.

President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have met after the U.S. leader publicly lambasted the longtime ally over its spending on national defense and a Russian oil pipeline.

Sitting down in Brussels, where both are attending a NATO summit, Trump described it as a “great meeting.”

He says they discussed defense investment and trade, adding: “We have a tremendous relationship with Germany.”

Merkel said she raised issues of migration and economic development with Trump.

Trump asserted earlier Wednesday that Germany is “totally controlled” by and “captive to Russia” because of a pipeline project. Trump told reporters that the pair discussed the pipeline during their meeting. He did not elaborate.

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3:20 p.m.

U.S. first lady Melania Trump is visiting a music academy near the Belgian capital as her spouse and other world leaders attend a NATO summit.

Trump, who is accompanying President Donald Trump on a weeklong trip to Europe, stopped Wednesday at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Waterloo, near Brussels.

The 48-year-old Trump wore a navy blue Calvin Klein calf-length dress with white and green detail on the lapel and white Louboutin heels with their trademark red soles.

The spouses were welcomed to the music center by Amelie Derbaudrenghien, the partner of Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, and Ingrid Schulerud, the wife of NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. They toured the center and attended a piano and violin concert.

Other participating first ladies include Brigitte Macron of France and Emine Erdogan of Turkey.

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3 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he’s thinking about American farmers even as he meets with NATO allies in Brussels.

Trump says in a two-part tweet Wednesday that he’s “in Brussels, but always thinking about our farmers.”

Critics have warned that Trump’s antagonistic trade moves will harm American farmers who grow crops like soybeans.

But Trump says “Farmers have done poorly for 15 years” and blames “Other countries’ trade barriers and tariffs” for “destroying their businesses.” He’s pledging to open “things up, better than ever before” but says “it can’t go too quickly.”

Trump says “I am fighting for a level playing field for our farmers, and will win!”

The tweet came as Trump attended a closed-door meeting of the North Atlantic Council. Staffers often send tweets for the president.

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