Wouldn't Be Here Right Now If Not For Twitter: Donald Trump
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 20, 2017,
Mar 20, 2017, 7:07
"The objective of this trip is to check a box that says, 'I know the guy, we've met, and we have three more times we're going to meet", said Jack Janes, president of the American Institute for Contemporary Germany Studies, referring to the meetings of the G-7, the G-20 and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation this year at which Mr. Trump and Merkel will again interact.
As a candidate, Mr Trump frequently accused the chancellor of ruining Germany for allowing an influx of refugees and other migrants from Syria and accused his campaign rival, Hillary Clinton, of wanting to be "America's Angela Merkel".
The first meeting between Trump and Merkel yesterday in Washington was a bit embarrassing.
And Merkel opened her remarks at the joint press conference on Friday by taking an apparent dig at Trump, saying "It's much, much better to talk to one another than about one another".
"As far as wiretapping, I guess by this past administration, at least we have something in common, perhaps", he said to laughter as Merkel appeared aghast before regaining her composure.
When asked on Thursday if the White House regrets accusing the United Kingdom of helping President Obama wiretap Trump Tower, Trump replied that "all we did was quote" a Fox commentator, so "you should be talking to Fox".
During what can only be described as a weird and embarrassing photo op, Ms Merkel shuffles awkwardly in her chair, before leaning in and asking her host: "Do you want to have the handshake?"
Unfazed, Trump insisted he is in the right, joking that he and Merkel may share a bond of kinship.
Merkel maintained her composure even when Trump repeated his contention that former President Barack Obama may have tapped his phones in Trump Tower.
Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard M. Burr, a North Carolina Republican, and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, said in a joint statement on Thursday there was no evidence to back up Trump's claim.
"I am not an isolationist. And this is obviously, where we have an exchange of views about it, but my position is the one I've just set out for you".
When the subject turned to economic issues, Merkel attempted to project a conciliatory approach.
Germany spent $37 billion on defense in 2016.
And the White House has said Trump will pick her brain on how to deal with the sensitive diplomacy of another leader, Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"Trade has to be fairer, and beneficial for both sides", Merkel commented.