Trump complains about Germany's finances after Merkel criticism


"We Europeans really have to take our destiny into our own hands", the chancellor said, just two days after Trump slammed Germans as "bad, very bad", in a meeting with leaders of the European Union, though according to one of his advisers, those words referred exclusively to matters of trade, not to Germany as a nation.

The White House has yet to explain how the president will achieve that, other than to say he expects trade deals to be "fair".

"To insult Germany, a long-standing ally, is something that many of us feel very uncomfortable with", Mr. Sanders said in a dpa interview conducted ahead of his German book launch in Berlin on Wednesday.

While leaders from the U.K., Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan upheld their support of the Paris Climate Accord, President Trump said he needed more time to decide whether he would recommit to the accord that aims to combat climate change. "We Europeans must really take our destiny into our own hands, of course in friendship with the United States, in friendship with Great Britain, with other neighbors wherever possible, also with Russian Federation ..."

"We Europeans truly have to take our fate into our own hands", she said on Sunday and echoed the sentiment again, during her press conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Merkel on Monday repeated nearly word for word her message from Sunday, when she told her Bavarian conservative allies in a packed Munich beer tent that "we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands".

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At the G7 summit, the six other nations were at odds with Trump on climate change and migration.

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

Merkel, whose worldview contrasts with Trump's nationalism, made comments after the G-7 summit that were interpreted as casting doubt on the reliability of the a partner to Europe under Trump's leadership. President Trump tweeted Saturday morning.

Merkel's speech in Munich could be seen as a reminder to Trump that the decision will have real implications for his relationship with Berlin and other partners, officials said. Trump's critique marks an escalation in tensions between his administration and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"We are committed to incrementally raise the defense spending over the next years in line with what North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders decided last year", said Wittig. "Terrible. We're going to stop that".

Both corroding relationships have always been goals of Russian President Vladimir Putin, raising speculation about Trump's rhetoric and actions being more in line with the Kremlin than many of America's closest European allies.