The tipping point being Trump’s ignorance towards Angela Merkel’s suggestion of a handshake during the photo op at the Oval Office.
“If you want to have a military alliance with us, you have got to pay the membership fee”.
Mr Trump is hosting Angela Merkel at the White House today, with the world’s media watching on.
Despite their disagreement, Trump avoided the bitter rhetoric of the past and showed a more conciliatory tone during the joint press conference.
The criticism echoed other experts, including former US ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder.
Trump brought up the issue of NATO when he was campaigning for president, saying the US was paying too much into the alliance and complaining that other countries who were benefiting from the treaty were not paying their fair share. Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s foreign minister, said a few weeks ago said that meeting the 2 percent goal is “unrealistic”, although that’s a much lower percentage than the USA spends on defense.
The two agreed on the need for co-operating in the fight against Isil terrorists in Syria, Iraq and Libya and the peace process in Ukraine.
President Donald Trump defiantly refused to back down from his explosive claim that Barack Obama wiretapped his phones, and sidestepped any blame for the White House decision to highlight an unverified report that Britain helped carry out the alleged surveillance. “But I also believe that a policy of trade should be a fair policy”. “You shouldn’t be talking to me, you should be talking to Fox”.
Speaking to a pool of reporters after the meeting, both leaders said their talks went well.
“He’s been president less than two months; she has been chancellor more than 10 years”, said Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Maintaining her composure throughout the public appearance, Merkel said while she represents German interests, Trump “stands up for, as is right, American interests”. He also lashed out at “Time” magazine when it named Mrs Merkel “Person of the Year” in 2015 instead of him. “It is based on these values that I wish to offer close cooperation, both with me personally and between our countries’ governments”, she wrote.
Merkel, for her part, praised global trade agreements, saying they work best when they work as a win-win for all the parties involved. 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”.