Germany 'owes vast sums' to NATO, US for defense

Germany 'owes vast sums' to NATO, US for defense

Germany 'owes vast sums' to NATO, US for defense

Donald Trump has dismissed reports of him seemingly snubbing Angela Merkel's request for a handshake as "fake news".

Tweeting a day after an awkward meeting with German leader Angela Merkel, Trump demanded Berlin should cough up billions of Euros more on defence.

Trump said Friday that Fox had quoted "a very talented legal mind", adding: "You shouldn't be talking to me, you should be talking to Fox".

He sought to turn the explosive charge into a light joke when asked about concerns raised by the British government that the White House is now citing a debunked claim that United Kingdom spies snooped on Trump.

The reporter, speaking in fractured English, had asked him if there were 'other suspects, ' and if 'it was a mistake to blame British intelligence for this'. He repeated those claims with Ms. Merkel by his side. The visit began cordially, with the pair shaking hands at the entrance of the White House.

However, former foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind said it was not enough to promise not to repeat the allegation. Which is why was she there in the first place?

Mr Trump refused to apologise for the accusation. "Many nations owe vast sums of money from past years and it is very unfair to the United States".

While Trump has called for banning refugees, Merkel touted Germany's willingness to accept them and a spokesman said the chancellor had to "explain" global refugee law to Trump when the two spoke by phone shortly after his inauguration.

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Five members including the USA and the United Kingdom now reach Nato's benchmark of spending two per cent of GDP on defence; Germany spends 1.23 per cent though this is set to increase.

"We were trying to address the areas we disagree", she said of their ideological opposition. In the video that has emerged, the two leaders are shown sitting next to each other for a photo-op before the press conference at Oval office as the photographers ask the leaders for a handshake. Trump's embrace of Russian Federation, both as a candidate and as president, has further unnerved European leaders, who favors a tough approach to Moscow, including continued economic sanctions for its conduct in Ukraine.

Merkel opened by making an apparent dig at the new American president even as the two look to fix what has been a strained relationship during their meeting Friday in Washington.

Merkel said she wanted to speak with Trump, who was elected in November, about security and economic issues as well as about future worldwide cooperation.

As a candidate, Mr Trump frequently accused the chancellor of ruining Germany for allowing an influx of refugees and other migrants from Syria and accused his campaign rival, Hillary Clinton, of wanting to be "America's Angela Merkel".

Mr. Trump said that he didn't know what news outlet the reporter represented but that the claim he was an isolationist was "another example of false news". However, he had also said in the past she was a leader he greatly respected.

For her part, Mrs Merkel has criticised President Trump's controversial travel ban that targets the citizens of several mainly Muslim countries.

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