Trump then pushed on his theory that the German reporter had been reading “fake news” herself, as he concluded his remarks to the reporter by saying… “I get it”, Tillerson said.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer cited a report by a pundit on Fox News that the UK’s government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) had spied on Trump after he was elected.
Trump was responding to a question if he ever regretted his tweets.
“I will of course point out that for us, our country and our membership in the European Union are two sides of the same coin”, Merkel said ahead of the visit.
Merkel, for her part, praised global trade agreements, saying they work best when they work as a win-win for all the parties involved.
United States intelligence agencies under Mr Obama reportedly monitored Mrs Merkel’s phone, sparking an angry response.
[Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]”Mr. President, “America First” – don’t you think this is going to weaken the European Union”.
And unavoidably with business comes the question of trade. Trump has reportedly instructed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to slash USA funding of the United Nations and its related agencies and activities by up to 50 percent. “I’ll make that clear”, she added.
The US President also lashed out at the news media on Saturday.
He said immigration was “a privilege not a right” and that “safety of our citizens must come first”, whereas she said: “Refugees have to be given the opportunity to shape their own lives”. Although that could be open to interpretation, the commander in chief’s tweets on Saturday though seem to suggest Trump doesn’t really understand how North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is funded.
Trump spent much of 2016 bashing the chancellor, accusing her of “ruining” Germany for allowing an influx of refugees from Syria.
“The president will be very interested in hearing the chancellor’s views on her experience interacting with Putin”, said a senior administration official with knowledge of the situation who was not authorized to speak publicly.
German weekly Der Spiegel commented that “the overall impression of this meeting was rather cool”.
And those “prior verbal tiffs” are not insignificant.
While Trump has called for banning refugees, Merkel touted Germany’s willingness to accept them and a spokesman said the chancellor had to “explain” global refugee law to Trump when the two spoke by phone shortly after his inauguration. I don’t know that I’ll do a lot of that. that’s not the way I tend to work.
Globe editorial: Donald Trump lies constantly.
President Donald Trump says his White House shouldn’t be blamed for quoting a Fox News analyst who accused British intelligence of helping former President Barack Obama spy on him.
Merkel opened by making an apparent dig at the new American president even as the two look to fix what has been a strained relationship during their meeting Friday in Washington.
Merkel was looking to Trump – who has said he wants to reset his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin – to ease concerns within Europe that the US could abandon efforts to pressure Moscow into changing course.
“We will take a close look at what is responsible and what is not”.
But anything resembling a heavy-handed rebuke was unlikely.
The two leaders tried to express their common bonds but showed minimal rapport in their first encounter, a departure from Merkel’s warm relations with Obama during his eight years as president.