Trump's Twitter remarks intensify row between US and Germany

Cheryl Sanders
June 1, 2017

-German trade relationship is "very bad" and suggested "this will change", following a reportedly closed-door meeting last week when he criticized Germany's trade surplus.

The relationship between Merkel and Trump contrasts with the warm ties between her and former United States president Barack Obama-who last week traveled to Berlin to attend a key Protestant conference. "We have to know that we must fight for our future on our own, for our destiny as Europeans", she continued.

But after Merkel and other senior German officials, who are campaigning ahead of September national elections in their own country, spent the weekend attacking Trump, the U.S. leader returned to the theme.

"I think the relationship that the president has had with Merkel he would describe as fairly unbelievable".

'The short-sighted policies of the American government stand against the interests of the European Union.

Mr Trump's comments came after a European trip in which he rattled several leaders.

Merkel said the conversation with the US on climate change last week during the G-7 meetings in Sicily, which followed the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, was "extremely hard". But Trump says Germany's trade surplus hurts USA interests, and he has criticized what he deems as Germany's low defense spending.

Thomas Oppermann, head of the Social Democrats' parliamentary group, told said: "Donald Trump makes clear with his tweet that he views Germany as a political opponent". Although she was never a supporter of Trump, she initially expressed a willingness to collaborate with him if he respected values such as "the dignity of each and every person".

Kellyanne Conway, White House counselor, has told The Associated Press that Dubke handed in his resignation before President Donald Trump left for his worldwide trip earlier this month.

Spicer also disputed the media's interpretation of Merkel's remarks that she felt that Europe could no longer depend on the United States.

In a tweet early this morning, Mr Trump criticised the Russia probes, writing: "Russian officials must be laughing at the USA & how a lame excuse for why the Dems lost the election has taken over the Fake News". At the same time, however, he also reaffirmed Merkel's right to voice her views on the differences which now exist between their approaches.

President Trump earlier this year had praised Ms Merkel, claiming he had "one of the best chemistries" with the German leader.

Trump has vowed to decide this week whether to pull the United States out of the Paris framework on climate change but left his counterparts in the G7 with no idea of which way he was leaning. Trump just seems like he needs something to do.

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