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Trump, with Merkel, on wiretapping: "at least we have something in common"

20 March, 2017, 10:34 | Author: Mae Harvey

President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel participate in a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, March 17, 2017.

On Thursday, spokesman Sean Spicer turned to a Fox News analyst's contention that GCHQ, the British electronic intelligence agency, had helped Obama wiretap Trump.

That was a statement made by a very talented lawyer on Fox [News].

"The accusations of President Donald Trump and his advisers are plucked out of thin air", the president of Germany's VDMA engineering industry association, Carl Martin Welcker, said in a statement on Monday.

Since he began his campaign for the United States presidency, Trump has regularly used Twitter to make sweeping and contentious remarks in which he outlines changes of direction in domestic and foreign policy.

Today he expressed support for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation but pushed for nations to "pay what they owe" - working toward contributing at least 2 percent of each member country's GDP.

Trump also said that the U.S. would respect "historic institutions" in what may have been a reference to the European Union, which has always been seen by the USA as a bulwark of Western security but about which senior figures in Trump's government have expressed skepticism. Merkel tilted her head and looked both confused and bemused after the former reality television star dropped the quip near the end of their joint press conference.

The criticism echoed other experts, including former U.S. ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder. In January, Trump called Merkel's open-door refugee policy a "catastrophic mistake." I didn't make an opinion on it.

Hamburger Morgenpost also pointed out that "the meeting falls into a hard phase of German-American relations", reminding readers that "Trump had attacked Merkel in his election campaign and also after the election in November", largely over her refugee policy.

He said 81,000 people were employed in German-owned engineering firms in the USA with more than $32 billion in total revenue, while German export successes were linked to the high quality of goods, not foreign-exchange effects. "I'm not an isolationist; I'm a free trader and a fair trader".

Her pitch came after Trump earlier had declared the two countries "must work together toward fair - but reciprocal - trade policies that benefit both our peoples".

A White House official confirmed that Darroch and the prime minister's national security adviser, Mark Lyall Grant, expressed concerns to both Spicer and Trump's national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster.

As of 2014, NATO's collective agreement directed members to spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense spending by 2024.

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