‘He Did What?’: On Trump, Merkel’s Encounter Does the Speaking


BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany refuses as a rule to comment on the inner affairs of other nations or pass judgment on their leaders. The president of the United States is no exception.

But that hasn’t stopped her letting her encounter from executing the speaking, reflecting confusion, befuddlement or exasperation relating to President Trump as the problem expected. On Friday, she was at it once again.

Asked all through her yearly summer season information conference about a declare created by Richard Grenell, the former U.S. ambassador to Germany, that he had “watched President Trump charm the chancellor of Germany,” Ms. Merkel drew her eyebrows with each other, tilted her head and leaned towards the reporter.

“He did what?” she asked.

“Charmed,” repeated Marina Kormbaki, a journalist with the German reporting collective R.N.D.

“Ah, Okay,” Ms. Merkel explained. Then she extra with a laugh, “I really don’t speak about inner discussions.”

In his speech at the Republican convention on Wednesday, Mr. Grenell laid out his interpretation of Mr. Trump’s “America First” foreign policy as a single that meant fewer wars and higher burden sharing amid allies — which includes Germany.

Mr. Trump had charmed Ms. Merkel even as he was insisting that Germany spend up much more as a member of NATO, Mr. Grenell explained.

His comment sparked outrage more than social media, the place he has an lively and outspoken presence, and brought derision on each sides of the Atlantic.

“Huge truth-test expected,” Susan Glasser of The New Yorker said on Twitter. Other consumers responded with compilations of images of the chancellor’s reactions to Mr. Trump from their meetings more than the previous 4 many years.

Several, like that of a stern-wanting Ms. Merkel, flanked by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Emmanuel Macron of France, leaning more than a table towards a defiant Mr. Trump, have spawned many social media memes.

Many others highlighted the chancellor’s grim expressions even though standing subsequent to the U.S. president all through information conferences.

Clear to see,” Ursula Barth wrote on Twitter with a laughing emoji. “The jokes from the U.S.A. just retaining receiving greater.”


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