Home Tags Posts tagged with "donald trump and angela merkel"

donald trump and angela merkel


President Donald Trump, who believes he was wiretapped under Barack Obama, told visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel: “At least we have something in common, perhaps.”

US intelligence agencies under President Barack Obama reportedly monitored Angela Merkel’s phone, sparking an angry response.

However, both Republican and Democratic congressional leaders have said they do not believe Donald Trump was wiretapped.

President Trump and Chancellor Merkel have discussed key issues including NATO and trade.

Angela Merkel’s visit to the US had been scheduled for March 14, but was postponed due to Winter Storm Stella.

Donald Trump made his wiretapping jibe in a joint press conference with Angela Merkel. She gave a quizzical look.

The president was also asked about a comment by White House press secretary Sean Spicer that the UK’s GCHQ spy agency had carried out wiretapping on candidate Donald Trump during the election campaign.

Donald Trump said Sean Spicer had been quoting a comment on Fox TV. The president said he had not offered an opinion on it, adding: “You shouldn’t be talking to me, you should be talking to Fox.”

Image source NBC

Fox later read out a statement on air, saying: “Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind that the now president of the United States was surveilled at any time in any way, full stop.”

GCHQ rejected the allegations against it as “nonsense” and Downing Street says it has been assured the US will not repeat the claims.

President Trump was also asked if he regretted any of his regular tweets. He said “very seldom”, adding that it was a way to “get round the media when it doesn’t tell the truth”.

The body language was at times awkward. In an earlier photo opportunity in the White House, Angela Merkel asked him quietly: “Do you want a handshake?”

Donald Trump looked forwards with his hands clasped and did not reply.

NATO and trade were key points of discussion for the two leaders.

President Trump reiterated his strong support for the alliance, but also “the need for our NATO allies to pay their fair share for the cost of defense”.

Germany is among many NATO members that do not meet the benchmark 2% of GDP to be spent on defense.

Angela Merkel said Germany was committed to increasing its defense spending.

On trade, President Trump bristled at a suggestion that he believed in “isolationist” policies. He told the reporter asking the question: “I don’t know what newspaper you’re reading, but I guess that would be an example of fake news.”

Donald Trump added: “I believe a policy of trade should be a fair trade. And the United States has been treated very, very unfairly by many countries over the years and that’s going to stop.”

Angela Merkel, who was travelling with top executives from German companies Siemens, Schaeffler and BMW, said she hoped the US and the EU could resume talks on removing barriers to bilateral trade.

President Donald Trump has met German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House for a key summit.

NATO, trade and Ukraine are on their agenda, but the focus will also be on how the two leaders interact.

President Trump has called Angela Merkel’s migration policy “catastrophic”, while she has criticized his planned travel ban on several mainly Muslim nations.

The visit was scheduled for March 14, but had to be postponed due to Winter Storm Stella that hit the East Coast last week.

Ahead of March 17 talks, Angela Merkel told German media she was looking forward to her first meeting with Donald Trump.

She told Saarbruecker Zeitung: “It’s always better to talk with each other than about each other.”

Donald Trump and Angela Merkel will hold more than two hours of talks, followed by a working lunch and joint press conference.

The summit has been highly anticipated given that the two leaders have publicly differed on several key issues.

Image source RT

Two months ago, President Trump said Angela Merkel had made “a catastrophic mistake” by allowing hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants into Germany.

And when Time magazine chose the Germanchancellor as its person of the year in 2015 instead of him, Donald Trump said she was “ruining Germany”. However, he has also said in the past she is a leader he greatly respects.

Donald Trump also has German ancestry. His grandfather emigrated to the United States in 1885 at the age of 16 from the town of Kallstadt, about 30 miles south-west of Frankfurt.

For her part, Angela Merkel has criticized President Trump’s controversial travel ban that targets the citizens of several mainly Muslim countries.

In her first phone conversation with President Trump after he took office, she explained that the Geneva Convention obliges signatories, including the US, to take in refugees of war on humanitarian grounds.

Angela Merkel also had a strong relationship with President Barack Obama. His final call to a foreign leader as president was said to be to Angela Merkel, thanking her for her leadership.

This first meeting comes as Angela Merkel prepares for an election battle later in the year, seeking a fourth term as chancellor.

Trade will be a key issue for the summit.

During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump threatened higher import taxes for countries such as Germany that have a trade surplus over America.

Angela Merkel is being accompanied by top executives from German companies Siemens, Schaeffler and BMW and will point out the large direct German investment in the US.

She said BMW’s plant in the US exported “more cars than GM and Ford together” from the United States, adding: “I’ll make that clear.”

On March 17, Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries said Germany could file a suit against any hike in import duties at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

She told Deutschlandfunk radio: “There are procedures laid out there because in the WTO agreements it is clearly laid out that you’re not allowed to take more than 2.5% taxes on imports of cars.”

President Trump has suggested a 35% levy.

“It wouldn’t be the first time that Mr. Trump has lost in the courts,” Brigitte Zypries added.

NATO is also on the two leaders’ agenda.

President Trump has insisted members pay their fair share. Only four nations currently reach the benchmark of spending 2% of GDP on defense. Germany is not among them.

The meeting agenda is also expected to cover foreign policy issues involving Russia, Syria, Iran, North Korea and the Middle East peace process.