Published: Sun, March 19, 2017
Culture | By Ray Hoffman

Trump says he and Merkel 'have something in common' on wiretapping

Trump says he and Merkel 'have something in common' on wiretapping

U.S. President Donald Trump met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the first time since he assumed the office.

Trump has also anxious USA allies by criticising the military alliance as "obsolete" and failing to meet the challenge posed by Islamic terror groups.

The US president has previously described Merkel's open door policy on refugees as "ruining Germany" and a "catastrophic" mistake.

Trump's tweet from his Florida resort, where he is spending the weekend, came the day after his first meeting with Germany's leader.

During their joint news conference on Friday, Mr Trump, who has dubbed North Atlantic Treaty Organisation "obsolete", demanded America's allies pay back the "vast sums of money from past years". And he referred to the United States as "a very powerful company", before quickly correcting that to "country".

Shortly thereafter, a member of the German press asked Trump if he ever regretted any of his tweets.

Before his inaugration, Mr Trump had described North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as "obsolete", but has since assured European leaders the alliance remains important to the US.

NATO members are supposed to contribute to 2% of GDP to the treaty, though Germany only contributes 1.2%. Germany now spends 1.23 per cent, but this is being increased.

Trump said trade agreements have led to greater trade deficits. "I don't know what went wrong with her", Trump said in August while on the campaign trail. Members are required to spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on defense, but only five nations now meet this requirement.

Yet, even Trump's favorite, Fox News, questioned his "isolationist" foreign policy as late as December.

Among other revelations, former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden exposed the agency's monitoring of Merkel's phone under former President Barack Obama - creating one of the worst rifts in German-American relations since the country was united after the Cold War. In a trade war, there can be no winners as the global economy is too networked and our supply chains too worldwide."said Bernhard Mattes, Head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany". While Trump ignored questions about his previous comments regarding Merkel, the German chancellor did say it was "much better to talk to one another, not about one another".

Garrison: And so when the conversation turns to trade and business topics between Trump and Merkel, what do you think Merkel is going to emphasize in terms of what is important to her country?

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