Trump Says He and Merkel Have Wiretapping 'in Common'

The meeting has been highly anticipated as the two leaders have publicly differed on key issues.

When she modestly asked USA president Donald Trump if he wanted to shake hands during a photo-op at the White House today, his response was to stare into space in stone-cold silence. "Hopefully, we can even it out", he said. "This would then qualify as a bilateral agreement between the European Union and the United States". "I'm a free trader, but I'm also a fair trader".

Friday's summit with German Chancellor Angela Merkel proved a grim reminder.

In January, Mr Trump said the German chancellor had made "a catastrophic mistake" by allowing hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants into Germany.

However at the start of the news conference, Mrs Merkel sought to break the ice, saying it was "much better to talk to one another than about one another".

All of that pales in comparison when you look at the photo-op the two shared later on, when the press pack ask Trump to shake hands with Merkel.

Tensions between the two countries came to a head a year ago after then-GOP presidential nominee Trump referred to Syrian immigration to Germany as "a disaster" and claimed that it led to an increase in crime. Trump also failed to provide evidence backing up his bombshell claim that former President Barack Obama had wire tapped his communications. For her part, Merkel made clear that the two don't see eye to eye - and several times echoed the president's language of pursuing "fair" treatment.

"People are different", Merkel mused.

In his opening remarks, Trump said that "training our workforce for the 21st century" was a top priority, adding that "we want to make sure we have the workforce development programs we need to ensure these jobs are being filled by American workers".

Trump reiterated his position throughout the campaign that trade agreements have to benefit US workers in order to gain his support. He was among those in the audience for the news conference.

The U.S. bugged Merkel's personal and official phones for more than a decade, beginning during a period of national security tightening in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks.

Spicer's claim repeated libertarian commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano's unfounded claims that Obama enlisted United Kingdom spies to help wiretap Trump Tower.

Angela Merkel has reacted with surprise and bemusement to an attempted joke by Donald Trump that suggested one thing they had in common was that they had both been wiretapped by the Obama administration. After almost a minute, Merkel turned to Trump.

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