The White House poured cold water on suggestions of a transatlantic rift today, saying US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel “get along very well.” After Merkel seemed to question the durability of the US-EU alliance under Trump, urging Europeans to “take our destiny into our own hands,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer tried to scotch talk of any problems. Spicer said that during a recent trip to Europe, Trump had “reaffirmed the need to deepen and improve our transatlantic relationship.”
The White House also insisted that Merkel’s view of a more strategically independent Europe was not incompatible with Trump’s demand for more European defense spending. Spicer described Trump’s personal relationship with Merkel as excellent.
“They get along very well,” said Spicer. “He has a lot of respect for her.” “He views not just Germany but the rest of Europe as an important American ally.” “I think the relationship that the president has had with Merkel, he would describe as fairly unbelievable.”