Germany owes North Atlantic Treaty Organisation 'vast sums and the USA must be paid'

Germany owes North Atlantic Treaty Organisation 'vast sums and the USA must be paid'

President Donald Trump joked that he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel "have something in common", referring to how Merkel's cellphone was listened to by the Obama administration.

President Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a joint press conference following a meeting Friday, and NPR reports it was "wide ranging and occasionally tense".

Former US President Barack Obama in 2016 said in an interview with The Atlantic about his foreign policy doctrine that "free riders aggravate me".

When a German reporter asked Trump if he regrets any of his commentary on Twitter, Trump said, "Very seldom".

Before his inauguration, Trump had called North Atlantic Treaty Organisation obsolete, though he has since mellowed that stance, telling leaders in Europe it remains of strategic importance.

Only five out of 28 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations are now meeting the two percent of GDP spending mark. Germany spends about 1.2 per cent on defense now.

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Merkel acknowledged the opposing positions adopted by Germany, which has taken in large numbers of refugees, and the United States under Trump, which has sought to ban them from several of the hardest-hit Muslim countries. On Fox, anchor Shepard Smith said the network knew of no evidence that Trump was spied on and that Fox couldn't confirm Napolitano's commentary. You look at China, virtually any country we do business with, it's not exactly good for our workers.

When asked about it at the news conference, Trump, instead of taking the opportunity to roll it back, blamed Fox TV news channel for making that allegation, which Spicer had recycled at his daily briefing from the White House. And she argued that such an agreement would fit under Trump's rubric of negotiating only bilateral trade deals, reasoning that the European Union operates as one unified economic zone.

Those differences also are evident on trade, with Germans leading European opposition to a border-adjustment tax plan supported by US House Republican leaders that would make imports to the US more expensive.

Donald Trump hosts Germany's Angela Merkel at the White House Friday, a meeting delayed by a snowstorm and still clouded by a storm of words between the two ostensible allies.

Merkel began her remarks at the news conference Friday by saying it was better to speak to each other than about each other.

Trump has questioned the relevance of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and said other countries need to contribute more. "That is our task respectively".

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