Published: Sun, March 19, 2017
Technology | By Ramiro Moody

Angela Merkel's glance at Ivanka Trump speaks volumes

Angela Merkel's glance at Ivanka Trump speaks volumes

"At least we have something in common", Donald Trump said to a confused Angela Merkel regarding the subject of wiretapping. Trump, like Obama before him - who said that he was "aggravated" by "free riders" in a 2016 interview with The Atlantic - has demanded that NATO members pay their fair share.

"In the period leading up to this visit, I've always said it's much, much better to talk to one another and not about one another, and I think our conversation proved this", the German leader said through a translator.

In an exchange caught on video, photographers gathered around Trump and Merkel in the Oval Office early Friday afternoon and suggested that the two leaders shake hands for the camera.

Trump, who as a candidate who called Merkel's migration stance "insane", offered little of the effusive praise to which Merkel became accustomed to from former President Barack Obama.

She also said that Germany was committed to increasing defense spending and paying 2 percent of the country's GDP to fund North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Before coming to office the United States president called Merkel's acceptance of refugees a "catastrophic mistake" and said she was "ruining Germany". Both emphasized the need for fair trade, but Trump couldn't help but complain that Germany is now profiting at America's expense. Immediately after Trump's press conference, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith said on air that Fox had "no evidence of any kind" that Trump was surveilled "at any time, any way".

Merkel also said economic and political negotiations within the European Union and with the United States must consider the plight of tens of millions of refugees who have fled war-torn Syria and violence and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa.

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When a German reporter asked the President if he regrets any of his commentary on Twitter, Mr Trump said, "very seldom".

Which is to say: The president of the United States just argued that it's perfectly appropriate for the White House to spread conspiracy theories that implicate close allies - so long as a 9/11 truther on Fox News spread them first.

"The president has clearly set out his philosophy for what trade agreements ought to bring about", she said. "We need to be fair with each other".

"The U.S. has been treated unfairly and that's going to stop", he told reporters.

Carmaker BMW's USA plant exports "more cars than GM and Ford together" from the United States, Merkel said.

The Merkel-Trump meeting on Friday (March 17) was supposed to mark a fresh start after the Republican leader had unabashedly criticised Merkel for her refugee policy in Germany throughout his campaign trail. And so you shouldn't be talking to me.

Haass said the nature of the two leaders' relationship is complicated by the different political roles they play.

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