Published: Sun, March 19, 2017
Culture | By Julio Duncan

'Merkel's criticism of Trump hasn't made life easy for both of them'

'Merkel's criticism of Trump hasn't made life easy for both of them'

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The White House meeting, one of Trump's first with a foreign leader since his inauguration, is a recognition on both sides of the importance of U.S. He also suggested at the time that the USA might not defend North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies if more money wasn't paid to the alliance.

President Trump took to twitter this morning from Mar-a-Lago, his Florida estate, slamming media's characterization of his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and claiming Germany "owes vast sums of money to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation".

But look out, this lady is also as close to an Iron Chancellor as any German leader since Bismarck two centuries ago.

President Donald Trump has welcomed German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the White House.

He added: 'Nevertheless, Germany owes. vast sums of money to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!'

Germany is among many North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members that do not meet the benchmark 2% of GDP to be spent on defence.

Trump and Merkel tried to sidestep their differences in their meeting at the White House on Friday, but it was punctuated by some awkward moments.

The U.S. president was mum, meanwhile, on one of the biggest challenges now facing North Atlantic Treaty Organisation: the threat from Russian Federation. "But we reserve the right to do that", he added. NATO's response to a resurgent Russian Federation and the stability of the European Union after Brexit.

On economic issues, Merkel attempted to project a conciliatory approach.

Both Merkel, who is seeking a fourth term, and Schulz are hoping to end the current coalition and form a new government with smaller allies.

"Germany has done very well in its trade deals with the US, and I give them credit for it", Trump told a White House press conference.

"We are firmly opposed to Nazi comparisons and grotesque allegations", said Chancellery Head Peter Altmaier. "We have conservative groups, other groups, everybody wants certain things".

He denied he was an "isolationist". Trade, NATO, relationship with Russian Federation, but questions about refugees and Muslim nations and so on, I think she will just live that on the backbone.

"I am a free trader, but I'm also a fair trader".

"As far as wiretapping, I guess, by this past administration, at least we have something in common, perhaps", Trump said, drawing laughter.

The unstoppable force of President Trump's rage against perceived bad trade deals may be set to encounter an immovable object: A united front by Germany and China.

Trump's budget proposal would radically change how federal taxpayer money is spent, steering billions toward the military while slashing money for poor people, children, the elderly, and medical research, the Globe's Annie Linskey reports.

The two leaders are due to hold more than two hours of talks followed by a working lunch.

The businesslike tone of their exchanges also illustrated the distance between the two leaders.

During a joint press conference, Trump was asked by a German reporter about his recent allegations that his predecessor spied on him during last year's allegations.

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