Angela Merkel looks bemused by Donald Trump's wiretapping joke

Angela Merkel looks bemused by Donald Trump's wiretapping joke

Harsh, much!? Donald Trump and Angela Merkel appeared together during a photo opp at the White House on March 17, but he acted totally cold toward her in the professional setting.

Even though Trump didn't respond to requests from photographers for for a handshake as he and Merkel sat for talks in the Oval Office, the two greeted each other warmly moments before on her arrival.

President Donald Trump has stood by claims he was wiretapped under Barack Obama, telling visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel: "At least we have something in common, perhaps".

Merkel was angered by reports in 2010 that the National Security Agency had tapped her phone with the permission of Obama.

Merkel acknowledged the opposing positions adopted by Germany, which has taken in large numbers of refugees, and the United States under Trump, which has sought to ban them from several of the hardest-hit Muslim countries.

But when the second German reporter quizzed him about the controversy's latest incident - White House press secretary Sean Spicer repeating a claim that British intelligence eavesdropped on him for the Obama administration - he engaged. Trump, however, said little about ongoing trade negotiations between the United States and the European Union, even as Merkel expressed optimism that the US and EU could hammer out an agreement where "both sides win".

Though he said many countries owe "vast sums of money", Trump declined to identify Germany as one of them.

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"I don't believe in isolationist policy". "Nevertheless", he added, "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!" "You shouldn't be talking to me, you should be talking to Fox".

Today he expressed support for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation but pushed for nations to "pay what they owe" - working toward contributing at least 2 percent of each member country's GDP.

'I don't think we regret anything.

Mrs Merkel will be accompanied by top executives from German companies Siemens, Schaeffer and auto giant BMW.

It's not just refugees that have divided the two world leaders.

But if what transpired in front of the cameras is any indication, the meeting was replete with more than its fair share of awkwardness.

"For me, the question is who is really providing added value to the alliance", she said. "You look at the deficits we have and you look at all of the accumulation of debt".