The White House Press Secretary has described the relationship between Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel is "fairly unbelievable" in his daily news conference on the heels of exchanged barbs between the two leaders.
“We Europeans must really take our destiny into our own hands," Ms Merkel said at a campaign event in Bavaria after Mr Trump just returned to Washington from his first foreign trip.
The comment appeared to be prompted by Mr Trump's continued indecisiveness on whether the US should remain in the Paris Agreement on climate change. “The entire discussion about climate was very difficult, if not to say very dissatisfying,” she said about the group of seven (G7) discussions on climate in which Mr Trump participated while in Taormina, Italy.
Mr Trump shot back in his preferred venue of Twitter, saying that the "MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany...will change." He once again referred to what he feels is a lack of necessary defence spending on the part of most North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) allies in the 28-member military alliance.
Mr Spicer said however that the US president respects Ms Merkel and that the pair "continue to grow the bonds" forged during the in-person meetings. He also commented that the media was inaccurate in its reporting of Mr Trump's relationships with other world leaders he met with on the foreign trip.
He also said that Ms Merkel's comment was not necessarily negative. Mr Spicer said that the comment is just a reflection of Germany and others "heed[ing] the call" that Mr Trump put forth on burden sharing and more fair division of responsibility.
"That benefits Europe...that benefits everybody," he said.
Mr Spicer did not give a timeline for Mr Trump's decision on the Paris Agreement or any trade-related legislative changes that may be introduced with relation to the EU and Germany.Reuse content