The NATO summit in Brussels has put the strained relationship between President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel back in the spotlight.
Over the past year and a half, Trump has consistently attacked Germany over trade and accused them of not contributing their fair share to NATO’s budget, leading to several tense interactions between him and Merkel.
Based on Trump’s remarks at a Wednesday breakfast meeting with NATO’s general secretary, things won’t seem to be getting better anytime soon.
“Germany is totally controlled by Russia, because they will be getting from 60-70% of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline,” Trump said. “You tell me if that’s appropriate, because I think it’s not, and I think it’s a very bad thing for NATO, and I don’t think it should have happened. And I think we have to talk to Germany about it.”
It seems hard to believe that less than two years ago, Germany was one of the US’ closest allies, and Merkel was working harmoniously with former President Barack Obama.
Merkel and Obama not only shared perspectives on various issues — they were also close friends. These 11 photos show just how different Merkel’s relationship has been with the two American presidents.
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Trump and Merkel’s relationship got off to a rocky start. After months of harshly criticizing Merkel for her handling of the refugee crisis on the campaign trial, the two leaders had an awkward first meeting at the White House in March 2017.
While Obama defended Merkel’s immigration policies as president, Trump had previously accused Merkel of “ruining Germany” by admitting Syrian refugees. He even suggested his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton would be “America’s Merkel.”
At their first time meeting face-to-face at the White House in March 2017, awkwardness ensued when Trump appeared to ignore Merkel asking him for a handshake during their photo-op in the Oval Office.
Trump later claimed not to have heard her or the photographers asking them to shake hands.
Sources: Business Insider, ABC, The Independent
During the previous 8 years when Obama was president, the US and Germany worked together on important global issues — including responding to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, tackling ISIS and the refugee crisis, and recovering from the global financial meltdown.
Obama and Merkel also developed a close diplomatic partnership and friendship.
“She is giving voice, I think, to the kinds of principles that bring people together rather than divide them, and I’m very proud of her for that, and I’m proud of the German people for that,” Obama said in a 2016 speech in Germany while reflecting on his time working with Merkel.
Source: Business Insider
Trump, on the other hand, does not see eye-to-eye with Merkel on many issues. He has consistently decried the US’ trade deficit with Germany, which …read more
Source:: Business Insider