German SPD leader calls Trump a 'destroyer of all Western values'

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"I think the relationship that the president has had with Merkel he would describe as fairly unbelievable".

Merkel might not like hearing Trump complain that it's unfair for United States taxpayers to cough up more for defense than Germans, even as Germany's export-driven economy creates problems for those same Americans. Although she was never a supporter of Trump, she initially expressed a willingness to collaborate with him if he respected values such as "the dignity of each and every person". "And he views not just Germany but the rest of Europe as an important American ally".

In his latest attack on Berlin, Trump tweeted that the United States was running a huge trade deficit with Germany, having previously complained that too many German cars were bought on the US.

On Sunday, Ms Merkel showed the gravity of her concern about Washington's dependability under Mr Trump when she warned at an election campaign event in a packed Bavarian beer tent that the times when Europe could fully rely on others were "over to a certain extent".

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After apparently moderating his stance toward an organization he once dismissed as obsolete, Trump used last week's meeting to publicly denounce Europe's low defense spending, while also surprising many North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders present by urging them also to focus on illegal immigration.

The 62-year-old said: "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 neighbours wherever possible, also with Russian Federation". When Trump returned at the weekend from Europe and the first foreign trip of his presidency, his aides hailed the tour as a success and a sign of renewed and bolder U.S. leadership on the world stage.

Despite the sometimes heated rhetoric, Washington is "open" to resuming talks with the European Union on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said late Tuesday. "That has not changed with President Trump".

President Donald Trump escalated his feud with Berlin on Tuesday, even as Germany's leader and Trump's own spokesman tried to defuse the conflict, which has sent tremors through Washington's core postwar alliances. Further offending Germany, he'll "stop" German auto sales because we import too many; Germans "are very, very bad". I've experienced this in the last few days.

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Alongside Modi, Merkel said that while transatlantic relations are of "paramount significance", the European Union had to forge its own path in the world "considering the current situation".

Trump's failure to take that two-pronged approach is why so many Europeans are alarmed, said Charles Kupchan, who served as senior director for European affairs on the staff of the National Security Council in the Obama administration. Ignore that German vehicle makers have invested in building USA plants with large employment, or that their cars sell well because we like them.

President Trump could strike out looking, and he'd say he hit a "home run".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made comments Sunday that Europe "must take its fate into its own hands", as the USA and the United Kingdom are looking after their own interests.

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