Fresh off his first international trip as president, one in which he spent time at two meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter Tuesday that the U.S. relationship with Germany is “very bad for U.S.” and “will change.”
Both Trump and Merkel took part in meetings of NATO and G7 leaders held last week in Brussels and Sicily, respectively. While in Brussels, Trump reportedly told European Union leaders that “the Germans are bad, very bad,” a comment that forced Gary Cohn, the director of the national economic council to explain that the president was unhappy only with the U.S-Germany trade relationship, not the longtime American ally itself.
Tuesday morning, Trump once again went after Germany in a post to Twitter that appeared online before 7 a.m.
“We have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO & military. Very bad for U.S. This will change,” he wrote, echoing a point he made in an address at NATO’s headquarters where he called on members of the trans-Atlantic treaty to spend more on defense.
Merkel, for her part, has emerged as perhaps the most prominent leader opposing Trump on the world stage. Known to be close with Barack Obama, Merkel met with the former U.S. president last week for a long-planned public event in Berlin on the same day that she met with Trump. And at a campaign rally over the weekend, the German chancellor said that “we Europeans truly have to take our fate into our own hands.”
“The era in which we could fully rely on others is over to some extent,” Merkel said. “That’s what I experienced over the past several days.”