Then he suggested the German Chancellor had also been wiretapped, telling her: “At least we have something in common, perhaps”. The views expressed in this commentary are his own.
On Friday the two G7 leaders met for the first time in Washington.
President Donald Trump is stressing the need to protect the USA from what he calls “radical Islamic terrorism” in his joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel had no illusion of the differences between her globally oriented view of geopolitics and the “America First” dictum with which Trump has unsettled traditional US partners.
President Donald Trump has refused to shake the hands of Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany. On the video, a male voice can be heard saying “handshake”, right after Merkel leaned towards Trump, and he apparently didn’t hear that, either.
It’s hard to imagine more strained circumstances under which to meet.
Mrs Merkel visited the White House for a key summit with Mr Trump, in their first face-to-face meeting.
But even behind closed doors, tension remained. Merkel said Germany had committed to spending 2 percent of GDP on defense until 2024 and had increased their defense spending by 8 percent a year ago.
Trump has also criticised countries, including Germany, which spend less than the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation guideline of two percent of their GDP on their military.
Trade was the topic of much of the press conference between the two leaders as President Trump has made the subject one of the pillars of his administration.
“We fought two world wars in Europe, and one cold war”, he wrote.
While major policy accomplishments were not expected, the meeting could help warm relations ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg in July and a G7 meeting in May.
In 2013, the German government said it had information that the United States may have monitored Dr Merkel’s mobile phone, prompting her to call then President Barack Obama to demand clarification.
“Are there other suspects, or do you think it was a mistake to blame British intelligence for this?” the German reporter asked Trump Friday.
He also pushed back against the reporters’ question about why he opposes “diversity” in news media by making charges of “fake news”.
Mr. Trump has come under increasing pressure over his sensational claim, made on Twitter, that Mr. Obama had Trump Tower under surveillance around the time of the election past year. Trump first made the wiretapping claims on Twitter.