Trump drags key allies into wiretap controversy

Donald Trump hosts Germany's Angela Merkel at the White House today (17 March), a meeting delayed by a snowstorm and still clouded by a storm of words between the two ostensible allies.

In her remarks, Merkel also referred to past tensions with Trump, as she seeks to build a new relationship with the third USA president she has encountered as German Chancellor.

At one point a German journalist called Trump "isolationist", which seemed to rankle him. "These nations must pay what they owe". Only the USA and four other members now reach the benchmark of spending 2 percent of GDP on defense.

Merkel, for her part, scolded Trump for imposing a travel ban on immigrants from six mostly Muslim countries, and reminded him that any close U.S. -Germany cooperation must be based on "values of democracy, freedom, respect for the rule of law and human dignity, regardless of origin, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political belief". "I'm a free-trader, but I am also a fair-trader".

He said that in the end of the process it will be a great plan.

According to a 2016 report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Germany placed ninth in the list of global military powers, having spent $39.4 billion on defense in 2015.

Trump repeated his claim that so-called Obamacare is "a disaster".

He sought to turn the explosive charge into a light joke when asked about concerns raised by the British Government that the White House is now citing a debunked claim that United Kingdom spies snooped on him.

Rather than simply chastise Germany for falling short of the 2 percent, President Trump should use the meeting with Chancellor Merkel as an opportunity to encourage North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partners that are making progress toward that goal.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer then quoted Napolitano's remarks about GCHQ Thursday while defending Trump's assertions that Obama wiretapped him a year ago.

She said the "success of Germans has always been one where the German success is one side of the coin and the other side of the coin has been European unity and European integration".

Despite their disagreement, Trump avoided the bitter rhetoric of the past and showed a more conciliatory tone during the joint press conference.

President Donald Trump's unproven allegation that his predecessor wiretapped Trump Tower in NY ahead of the election blazed a new path of political disruption as he dragged two foreign allies into his increasingly thin argument that he is right.

"It's always much better to talk to one another than about one another", she said.

She said that while she represents German interests, Mr Trump "stands up for, as is right, American interests. That is our task respectively".

"We don't want victory, we want fairness", Trump said. It was Merkel's first visit to the USA in two years.

  • Leroy Wright