New Trump attack on Germany widens transatlantic rift

Source: The Local

The transatlantic diplomatic rift widened on Tuesday as US President Donald Trump responded to criticism from Chancellor Angela Merkel with a new attack on German trade tactics and defense spending.

Trump’s spokesman Sean Spicer insisted that the leaders “get on very well” but – as is often the case – his warm words from the White House podium were overshadowed by the president’s intemperate tweets.

When Trump returned over the weekend from the first foreign trip of his presidency, his aides hailed the tour as a success and a sign of renewed and bolder US leadership on the world stage.

But, while Trump received a warm welcome in Saudi Arabia and Israel, he left behind a bitter taste in Europe after the NATO summit in Brussels and the G7 get-together of the world’s richest powers in Sicily.

European leaders were especially dismayed by Trump’s refusal to reaffirm US support for last year’s Paris climate change accord and his failure to publicly endorse NATO’s mutual defense pledge.

Germany was particularly discomfited, and Merkel wasted no time in warning German voters that the United States can no longer be relied upon as before.

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