Lawmakers and government officials in Berlin criticized Trump’s troop decision, which would cut U.S. forces in Germany by slightly more than a quarter, as a snub. It’s potentially damaging for perceptions of NATO and its role in maintaining global security, according to Roderich Kiesewetter, foreign policy spokesman for Merkel’s parliamentary caucus.

“Keeping NATO together seems less important to Trump than was the case under” his predecessor Barack Obama, Kiesewetter said Monday in an interview with Deutschlandfunk radio, adding that “it’s not justifiable because he’s also hurting the U.S.” Most U.S. troops in Europe are stationed in Germany.

“We’re not vassals, and these things should be discussed on a equal footing within NATO,” he said. “It’s clear that election campaigning or the deep trouble he’s in is more important to him than keeping the alliance together.”