The visit began cordially, with the two leaders shaking hands at the entrance of the White House.
Mr Merkel said she hoped the USA and the European Union could resume discussions on a trade agreement and that she had told Mr Trump Germany needed to meet North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spending goals.
According to Trump, Fox News wiretap claim came from “talented legal mind”.
Mr Trump has ruffled feathers in Germany by threatening its carmakers with tariffs and calling on Berlin to boost defence spending.
As the Chancellor of Germany, Merkel is one of-if not the most-powerful political figure in the world. Many nations owe vast sums of money from past years, and it is very unfair to the United States. But he insisted that the European nations “must pay what they owe”.
Since the start of the 2014 confrontation with Russia, Washington has been increasingly insistent in its demand for Europeans to ramp up their defense spending to 2 percent of their GDP. Merkel will be joined by top officials at German companies including Siemens and BMW. “On a day filled with awkward moments”, Politico noted, “probably none was more cringe-worthy to German eyes than the picture of the president’s glamorous daughter … perched next to no-nonsense Merkel as she praised her father’s commitment to job creation”. She forged a strong bond with Barack Obama and his final call as president to a foreign leader was to the German chancellor.
And unavoidably with business comes the question of trade.
And those “prior verbal tiffs” are not insignificant. Trump repeatedly complained about Merkel during his campaign, accusing her of “ruining Germany” and being a “catastrophic leader“. He was among those in the audience for the news conference.
And neither side tried to make small talk about Trump’s own background. “Help countries who right now are not [able] to do so”. “It’s true that Germany does have a large surplus with us, which has been a focus of this administration, but what she’s going to do undoubtedly is talk about how many German companies invest in the United States”.
Trump denied a reporter’s suggestion that his “America First” policy meant he was an isolationist, saying such an assertion was “fake news”.
“Those who know the Chancellor know that she has a knack for winning over people in personal discussions”.
In a series of tweets on March 4, Trump accused Obama of a “Nixon/Watergate”-like plot that would nearly certainly break USA law”. BMW’s factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina, which is its largest in the world, has a domino effect on the USA economy.
The meeting has been highly anticipated as the two leaders have publicly differed on key issues.