Trump stands by Obama wiretap claim

Trump tweeted yesterday that "Germany owes vast sums of money to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defence it provides to Germany!"

One of Trump's first actions as President was to formally withdraw the United States from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership and he made no secret of his dislike for multilateral deals. Quite the opposite, in fact: Hopes remain that the meeting, if nothing else, might help reset the relationship between the two leaders. "I am a free trader, but a fair trader", he added. The U.S. pays for its own forces to be deployed to foreign soil in Europe and elsewhere, and indeed, could pull them out at any time. Those who currently don't spend 2 per cent of their GDP on defence are now increasing their defence budgets.

That appeared to be far from the case on March 17, when the veteran German leader arrived hoping to reverse a chill in relations after Trump had said during his campaign previous year that her decision to allow refugees into Germany was a "catastrophic mistake" and suggested she was "ruining Germany".

Republicans in Congress also said Trump should retract his claims.

The polar opposites met in Washington for the first time since Trump assumed office in January, and the face-to-face was sure to be filled with its share of tense exchanges behind closed doors.

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.

Germany owes 'vast sums of money' to NATO
Donald Trump has fuelled a diplomatic row by repeating wiretapping claims during an awkward press conference with Angela Merkel. Merkel and Trump's relationship has been tense in the past - although both leaders said Friday's meetings had been very good.

Trump said trade agreements have led to greater trade deficits. The Obama administration's spying infuriated Germany at the time and risked damaging the USA relationship with one of its most important European partners.

The seemingly awkward moment was caught on video and shows Merkel turning toward Trump and asking, "Do you want to have a handshake?"

Farage finished by insisting that her policy has now caused a rift across European countries.

He has also disagreed with her decision to welcome hundreds of thousands of refugees to enter Germany. Germany pays 1.2 percent; the United States kicks in more than 3 percent.

Asked if his isolationist economic policy is damaging both to U.S. and EU, Trump answered:"I don't believe in an isolationist policy, but the USA has been treated very, very unfairly and that has got to stop".

Merkel agreed that "we have to protect our external borders".

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