Being Wiretapped By Obama Is Something Merkel And I Have In Common

Being Wiretapped By Obama Is Something Merkel And I Have In Common

It's not even clear that he wants to do so, despite Republican lawmakers joining Democrats in rejecting his claims.

President Donald Trump has stood by claims he was wiretapped under Barack Obama, telling visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel: "At least we have something in common, perhaps".

Trump said trade agreements have led to greater trade deficits. Asked about his unsubstantiated claims that the Obama administration had placed him under surveillance late a year ago, Trump made reference to the disclosure in 2013 that the National Security Agency had been tapping Merkel's mobile phone.

USA intelligence agencies under Obama reportedly monitored Merkel's phone, sparking an angry response. 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.

This has sparked fury in London.

"Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct "wire tapping" against the then President Elect are nonsense", the statement said.

On immigration, another issue dividing the veteran chancellor and the new USA president, Trump said immigration was a "privilege" and not a "right". "You shouldn't be talking to me, you should be talking to Fox".

Trump's complaint on trade reflected comments by the head of his National Trade Council, Peter Navarro, who has laid into Germany's trade surplus, accusing Europe's biggest economy of exploiting its position within the euro area to gain advantage. Undaunted, the president sent out his press secretary, Sean Spicer, on March 16th to read out a list of news reports, some of them from far-right conspiracy theorists, which support the idea that the current president was spied on by his predecessor. Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., called the accusation against Britain "inexplicable" and the Trump's accusation against Obama unfounded.

"Nice friendly reporter", Trump replied amid scattered laughter in the White House's East Room.

In a truly cringe-worthy scene, the US President appeared to completely blank requests to shake his guest Angela Merkel's hand.

The two were left to talk, based on the premise that, in Merkel's words, "it's much better to speak with each other than past each other".

She said the "success of Germans has always been one where the German success is one side of the coin and the other side of the coin has been European unity and European integration".

He could hardly have missed Merkel straining for diplomacy in some of those remarks.

On economic issues, Merkel attempted to project a conciliatory approach.

President Trump previously slammed Merkel's immigration policies as well as criticising North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and Germany's position within the EU. "I am sure that Donald Trump will not be immune", said Juergen Hardt, a conservative lawmaker who helps coordinate transatlantic relations for the German government.

"I do not believe in isolationist policies, I think a trade policy must be fair, and the United States has been treated very, very unfairly by a number of countries and that has to end, but I am not an isolationist", he said.

Trump eclipsed that uneasy moment later in the afternoon when they held a joint press conference.

Trump went in a more mainstream direction on Friday. He has appalled the German government with his open admiration for the iron-fisted nationalism of Mr Putin, his hints that he might lift sanctions imposed on Russian Federation for its invasion of Ukraine, and his suggestions that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is obsolete.

The US president was also asked if he regretted any of his regular tweets.

"Very seldom", the president responded, encapsulating the defiant tone of the news conference in two words.

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