Merkel German reporter insulted Trump & Trump insulted her back “Fake News”

PhenomenonPublished: March 22, 2017
Published: March 22, 2017

Merkel German reporter insulted Trump & Trump insulted her back “Fake News”
Merkel German reporter insulted Trump & Trump insulted her back “Fake News”
One reporter asked Trump to comment on his accusations that former President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.
“As far as wiretapping, I guess by this past administration, at least we have something in common, perhaps,” Trump said with a smirk.
Another German reporter rose to give a question, this time a little more hard-hitting.
“Why are you so scared of diversity in the news and the media that you speak so often of a ‘fake news’ and that things that in the end cannot be proven, like for the fact that you were wiretapped by Mr. Obama,” the reporter asked.
“Nice, friendly reporter,” Trump said sarcastically before moving on to ignore that part of the question.
“I don’t believe in an isolationist policy,” Trump said, answering a former question about Merkel’s opinion that Trump’s policies are dangerous.
“But I also believe a policy of trade should be a fair policy,” Trump continued. “The United States has been treated very, very unfairly by many countries over the years, and that is going to stop. I am not an isolationist. I’m a free trader, but I am also a fair trader. … But I am not an isolationist by any stretch of the imagination.”
“So I don’t know what newspaper you are reading, but I guess that would be another example of, as you say, fake news,” Trump said.
President Donald Trump on Friday refused to disown claims, highlighted by his White House, that British intelligence tapped his phones following a request by President Barack Obama last year, risking a deepening rift with America's key ally.
Trump's aides had earlier attempted to quell British anger over the claims, based on a Fox News report cited by his press secretary, Sean Spicer, in a briefing Thursday, by explaining the comment to the UK government.
But in an awkward moment on live television while meeting Chancellor Angela Merkel -- whose cell phone was once tapped by the National Security Agency -- Trump quipped that he and the German leader had something in common.
Trump's response further fueled a controversy about his claims he was wiretapped by Obama -- first made on Twitter two weeks ago -- which have been rejected by senior members of House and Senate Intelligence committees. The White House has produced no evidence to back up the allegations.
In a news conference notable for tense body language between Trump and Merkel, the President appeared irritated by the question from a German reporter about the unverified Fox News report.
"As far as wiretapping I guess by this past administration, at least we have something in common, perhaps," Trump said, turning to Merkel, who did not smile at the joke. The German chancellor was furious to find out during the last administration that her phone had been tapped by the NSA as part of a program that Obama ended after leaks from Edward Snowden.
Merkel appeared to take several seconds to process what Trump had said, then frowned, and started shuffling her papers on the podium set up for their joint news conference in the East Room of the White House.
Trump also showed no sign of regret that his press secretary had sparked a controversy, though the President is increasingly isolated over his claims, made without any evidence, that the Obama administration tapped his phones.
The top Republicans and Democrats on the House and Senate Intelligence panels have said there is no evidence that Trump or aides were under surveillance. On Monday, FBI director James Comey is expected to testify to the House committee and is expected to draw similar conclusions.
The White House earlier sought to explain Spicer's use of the Fox News report to the British government. National security adviser H.R. McMaster spoke with his British counterpart and described Spicer's comment as "unintentional." A senior administration official said the conversation amounted to an apology.
But Trump declined to offer an apology for the claims, which the British government derided as "ridiculous."
And Spicer denied to reporters after the news conference that the White House had said sorry to the British.
"We just reiterated the fact that we were just simply reading media accounts. That's it," he said. "I don't think we regret anything. We literally listed a litany of media reports that are in the public domain."
The controversy over wiretapping overshadowed other aspects of Merkel's visit -- a crucial one for US and German relations. Trump met Merkel at the front door of the West Wing, but there were signs of strained interaction a little later when they appeared before cameras in the Oval Office.
When asked to shake hands by reporters and photographers, Trump remained stationary. He did not look at Merkel, although it was not clear whether the leaders heard the request.

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