The unlikely pair-a cautious German chancellor and an impulsive U.S. president-moved to the Oval Office, hoping to narrow differences on immigration and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation but also Russian Federation and global trade. “He’s impulsive and emotional. I don’t know what the hell she’s thinking”. “It’s very hard to even tell what she’s thinking”. Merkel could be seen leaning towards Trump, who sat with his hands firmly locked between his knees, a very “un-Trump” like gesture.
The two leaders tried to express their common bonds but showed minimal rapport in their first encounter, a departure from Merkel’s warm relations with Obama during his eight years as president.
That appeared to be far from the case on Friday, when the veteran German leader arrived hoping to reverse a chill in relations after Trump criticized her during his campaign previous year, saying her decision to allow refugees into Germany was a “catastrophic mistake” and suggesting she was “ruining Germany”.
“Currently the Germans are only pay 1.2 per cent”. When Trump met with Chancellor Merkel, there was a bit of a tense environment with media members citing how Trump did not shake the chancellor’s hand.
Trump said trade agreements have led to greater trade deficits. Her stature as the three-term chancellor of Germany, and her public espousal of liberal values, stand in sharp contrast to Mr Trump’s noviciate presidency and populist conservatism. After almost a minute, Merkel turned to Trump.
“Joking about the USA surveillance of Merkel is probably the most tone deaf moment so far of Trump’s time on the global stage”, saidStephen Farnsworth, a scholar of the presidency and the media at Mary Washington University.
Trump had previously accused Merkel of “ruining” Germany with her pro-refugee policies and more internationalist worldview.
“Sorry, Mr President, that’s not how North Atlantic Treaty Organisation works”, tweeted Ivo Daalder, a former USA ambassador to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
US President Donald Trump refused Friday to let go of his claim that predecessor Barack Obama had him wiretapped, perpetuating a dispute that has bogged down his administration politically and stirred tensions with close ally Britain.
“Immigration has to be worked on, but this has to be done by looking at refugees as well”, she said. “The delegation will prove how much Germany invests in the USA and how Americans benefit from the relationship”.
The obvious exception was Trump’s joking comparison of Merkel’s surveillance experience, which was real, with his, for which no evidence is known to exist. “With the delegation by her side, she can talk his language, the language of business”.
Another pressure point for the Trump administration: Germany’s massive trade surplus.
“I’Il tell you after we’re finished”, he added.
Trump and the German chancellor seemed on amicable enough terms when Merkel first arrived at the White House, shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries as the German leader stepped from her auto. “I believe that globalization – to be shaped in an open-minded way but also in a fair way – freedom of movement, is a very important element of our economic progress of peace and has been for many, many decades”.