White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Tuesday said that President Donald Trump developed a “fairly unbelievable” relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week during the European leg of his first trip abroad as President.
“I think the relationship that the President has had with Merkel he would describe as fairly unbelievable,” Spicer said at the daily press briefing when asked about Merkel. “They get along very well. He has a lot of respect for her. They continue to grow the bond that they had during their talks in the G7.”
Spicer’s insistence that Trump and Merkel got along well comes after Trump made negative comments about the United States’ trade relationship with Germany. He told European Union officials last week that Germany is “very bad on trade,” and on Tuesday morning criticized Germany for not contributing enough to NATO.
Spicer also told reporters that the White House views Germany and other European countries as important allies. He said that last week Trump “re-affirmed the need to deepen and improve our transatlantic relationship.”
Yet following Trump’s trip abroad, Merkel said Sunday that “the times in which we can fully count on others are somewhat over, as I have experienced in the past few days.”
Spicer insisted on Tuesday that those remarks actually were “great.”
“That’s what the President called for. He called for additional burden-sharing. The secretary general of NATO said that the President’s calls are what’s moving them in the right direction,” Spicer said. “The President is getting results. More countries are stepping up their burden-sharing. That is a good thing for them. It’s a good thing for NATO and it’s a good thing for America.”