Despite the lack of confidence expressed by Berlin in the new administration in Washington and the US President’s criticism of German trade policy, the White House said on Tuesday that Trump and Merkel get along well, Efe news reported.
“I think the relationship that the president has had with Merkel he would describe as fairly unbelievable,” said White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer at his daily press briefing.
Trump and Merkel “get along very well,” Spicer said. “He has a lot of respect for her. They continue to grow the bond that they had during their talks in the G7, and he views not just Germany but the rest of Europe as an important American ally.”
Trump had tweeted earlier on Tuesday that Germany’s trade and military policies are very bad for his country and warned that something will be done about it.
“We have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO & military. Very bad for US This will change,” Trump said on his Twitter account.
Trump’s tweet came after Merkel told a meeting last Sunday that “the times in which (Germany) could fully rely on others are partly over,” a reference to the US and UK.
Merkel said she reached that conclusion after the G7 and NATO Summits, in which Trump took part and during which the differences between the policies of the new US administration and its allies in Europe and elsewhere became patently obvious.
“We Europeans really have to take our destiny into our own hands,” the chancellor said, just two days after Trump slammed Germans as “bad, very bad,” in a meeting with leaders of the European Union, though according to one of his advisers, those words referred exclusively to matters of trade, not to Germany as a nation.