Trump says Germany owes 'vast sums' to NATO

President Donald Trump's first meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel produced a slightly awkward moment when the president didn't shake the German leader's hand in front of photographers in the Oval Office. "Nevertheless, Germany owes vast sums of money to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!"

"Many nations owe vast sums of money from past years, and it is very unfair to the United States".

Berlin's defence budget has always been below NATO's target of 2 per cent of a member's gross domestic product.

Germany, whose militaristic past has led it traditionally to be reticent on defense matters, now spends 1.2 percent of GDP.

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Adam Schiff of California says there's certainly enough for the panel to conduct an investigation. However, the wiretapping had been reported on prior to Trump's tweet .

United States President Donald Trump took to twitter to express his rant against the media, stating that despite its "fake news" reports, his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel was "GREAT".

This is published unedited from the IANS feed. The president has been deeply critical of foreign trade and national security agreements but suggested he was only trying to revise trade deals to better serve US interests, rather than pull back from the world entirely.

For years, Merkel - a trained physicist - had been president Barack Obama's closest worldwide partner, with the two sharing a strong rapport and a similar deliberative approach. "As far as wiretapping, I guess, by this past administration, at least we have something in common perhaps", he said. "I hope we can come back to the table and talk about the agreement" between the European Union and U.S., she said.

She said delicately that while she represents German interests, Mr Trump "stands up for, as is right, American interests". "That is our task respectively".

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Careful in her words and choosing to not openly disagree, Merkel said, "I believe globalisation ought to be shaped in an open-minded way but also in a fair way".

"We need to be fair with each other", Merkel said, saying both countries were expecting "that something good comes out of it for their own people".

Before coming to office in January, Trump had set the tone by calling Merkel's acceptance of refugees a "catastrophic mistake" and suggested she was "ruining Germany".

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