Donald Trump, Angela Merkel Press Conference Video – WATCH
Donald Trump and Angela Merkel put on a united front at a joint press conference on Friday, despite past tension. Watch below.
During the presidential election, Trump repeatedly criticized Merkel during his campaign. They differ on a number of issues, such as immigration and the European Union, but now want to maintain an alliance between the two countries. At the White House on Friday, they attempted to forge a relationship both privately and in front of the press.
As is protocol for such media briefings, each leader delivered prepared remarks, and then took four questions total. Two reporters were chosen by the president, and two chosen by the German chancellor. It began with Trump saying it was a “great honor” to welcome her to the “people’s house.” He said they have much “in common,” including a dedication to business and employment. “A stonger America, believe me, is in the interest of the world as a whole,” the president, going on to say the U.S. is committed to NATO, but those countries with outstanding debts must pay up.
He praised Merkel’s “leadership,” and her “resolve” in dealing with Crimea. He also said both countries must work together to defeat ISIS, and stressed that “immigration is a privilege, not a right,” and the “safety of our citizens must come first, without question.” Trump insisted the “close friendship” between the U.S. and Germany is based on “shared values,” and is the “foundation of a very, very hopeful future.”
When Merkel spoke, she said her private time with Trump proved that it was better to deal with issues face to face, so they could discuss “shared interests.” She praised the U.S. for helping Germany economically, and vowed to continue to fight terrorism together. The chancellor said she planned to discuss the G20 conference and trade with Trump. “We had a very good first exchange of views,” she insisted.
When it was time for questions, Trump was first asked about his pending healthcare legislation, which he insisted is “coming together beautifully.” He once again said Obamacare is a “disaster” and “failing.” The same reporter asked Merkel about interacting with an outspoken Trump. She said she’s experienced “hospitality,” but acknowledged people in Germany are “different.” Still, she thought they would find room for “compromise.”
Merkel was next asked about Trump being “isolationist” and his stance on the European Union. He in turn was asked about weakening the European Union, battling with the media, and his wiretap claims. Trump, wanting to answer first, snarked, “Nice friendly reporter.” He denied being an isolationist, but said trade has led to “a lot of bad things happening.” For her part, Merkel said they haven’t spoken about economics at length yet, but “touted European integration.” After she spoke, Trump touted jobs in the U.S., saying it would be beneficial around the world.
For the third question, Trump was asked about turmoil within the Republican party. He insisted the party is “unified,” saying, “I seem to be very popular within the party.” He similarly said the healthcare plan is “popular,” and said with trade deals, “All I want is fairness.” The president added, “We are going to be stronger than ever before… We are going to be a very different country.” Merkel said that “both sides” should “win.”
The fourth and final question for Merkel continued the topic of trade, while Trump was again asked about wiretapping and if he regrets any tweets. “Very seldom,” he said of regretting his Twitter posts. “We have a tremendous group of people that listen. I can get around the media when the media doesn’t tell the truth, so I like that.” Then, in a nod to Merkel getting spied on by the U.S., Trump said, “As far as wiretapping by this previous administration, at least we have something in common, perhaps.”
He also denied that he was responsible for the wiretap allegations, instead blaming a news report. Check out the full video below.