Trump says he and Merkel 'have something in common' on wiretapping
Mar 19, 2017, 00:49
In their first meeting at the White House since Trump's inauguration as president, Trump reprised his complaints that the us had been treated "very, very unfairly" and poured loaded praise over German trade officials for besting their American counterparts.
Mrs Merkel and Mr Trump appeared to have an awkward meeting at the White House, with the US President seemingly refusing to shake the German Chancellor's hand in front of the media in the Oval Office.
"As far as wiretapping, I guess by this past administration, at least we have something in common, perhaps", Trump said, referring reports that the National Security Agency had tapped Merkel in 2010, during President Barack Obama's first term.
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During his presidential campaign, Mr Trump frequently accused the Chancellor of "ruining" Germany for allowing an influx of refugees and other migrants from Syria. He repeated those claims with Ms. Merkel by his side.
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The German chancellor's face said it all as she evidently couldn't hide her astonishment at what she had just heard. "The United States has been treated very unfairly by many countries over the years", he told her, reiterating a long standing talking point. "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.
We want fairness." Questioned by the German press, however, Trump vehemently denied that he supports an isolationist policy. "That was a statement made by a very talented lawyer on Fox, so you shouldn't be talking to me, you should be talking to Fox".
She also said that Germany was committed to increasing defense spending and paying 2 percent of the country's GDP to fund North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. "You look at the deficits we have and you look at all of the accumulation of debt". I was in Tennessee [on Wednesday March 15], we had a massive crowd.
The meeting has been highly anticipated as the two leaders have publicly differed on key issues. However, some observers questioned whether her business credentials were sufficient to earn her a place at the meeting.
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