President Trump Prods Germany Over NATO, but Touts Merkel Meeting
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 20, 2017,
Mar 20, 2017, 6:23
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Donald Trump met today after months of subtle jabs from Washington to Berlin.
Trump's allegations against President Barack Obama have sparked a reactions ranging from bafflement to anger in Washington, with both Democrats and Republican lawmakers saying they have no evidence to support his claim.
"At least we have something in common, perhaps", said Mr Trump, referring to 2013 reports that the United States was monitoring Mrs Merkel's cellphone conversations.
But on Friday, GCHQ rejected Napolitano's claims that it helped surveil Trump for Obama in 2016.
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence weighed in Thursday, finding "no indications" that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance.
"And just to finish your question, we said nothing".
"At least we have something in common, perhaps", Trump quipped Friday during a joint news conference with Merkel.
In an interview with the Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung newspaper to be published Monday, Germany's Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel also hit back at Trump's comments, German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported.
One German official telling Reuters that Merkel's been coached on the idea that Trump prefers to hear "clear positions" but with "few details".
"It's always much better to talk to one another than about one another", she said. His two-part Twitter post ended with: "The United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!". He has, for example, heavily criticized Merkel's decision to allow hundreds of thousands of refugees into Germany, a move that is a key issue in her re-election race this year. "We're a very strong country", said the US President.
After the conference, Fox's Shepard Smith responded: "Fox News can not confirm Judge Napolitano's commentary", apparently referring to the report Trump cited.
The veteran German chancellor had arrived at a snowy White House hoping to reverse a chill in relations after Trump's incendiary election rhetoric. According to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation figures, Germany spent 1.2 percent of its GDP previous year on defense and France spent 1.8 percent of its GDP.
The German chancellor added that this would not prevent the European Union and the U.S. of reaching a "beneficial" deal for both sides of the Atlantic. President Trump appeared to snub a handshake with Angel Merkel during a meeting Friday in the Oval Office.
Trump's order banning citizens of some majority-Muslim countries from entering the US and a threat to tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement have also unnerved business leaders.
That appeared to be far from the case on Friday, when the veteran German leader arrived hoping to reverse a chill in relations after Trump criticised her during his campaign past year, saying her decision to allow refugees into Germany was a "catastrophic mistake" and suggesting she was "ruining Germany".