US President Donald Trump has insisted he had a "great" meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in spite of the frosty exchanges on show at their joint press conference.
In his latest Twitter tirade, the Republican president lambasted the media yet again for insinuating the pair clashed at their meeting at the White House, despite his declining to shake the German stateswoman's hand.
In the very same series of tweets, Trump hit out at Merkel's Germany for failing to meet its financial obligations to Nato, in what has been a tense subject for the two countries.
"Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Nevertheless, Germany owes vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!" Trump said via Twitter on Saturday (18 March).
Nato was one of a number of sticking points between Trump and Merkel's meeting on Friday.
The pair also clashed about Merkel's refugee policy, which contrasts sharply with that of Trump's.
Germany, with its population of 80 million, has accepted more than one million refugees since 2015 – a move that Trump described was "ruining" the country during his presidential run.
Merkel said that immigration was a point of difference between the two countries, but stayed away from criticising Trump, stating that he stands up for American interests.
She said she aims to do the same for Germany, but takes a different approach.
"But this has to be done by looking at the refugees as well, giving them opportunities to shape their own lives and where they are," Merkel said on Friday.
"Help countries who right now are not in an ability to do so, sometimes because they have civil war.
"I think that's the right way of going about it. And this is obviously, where we have an exchange of views about it, but my position is the one I've just set out for you."
From Trump's perspective, it appeared the only thing he believed the pair had in common was that former President Barack Obama allegedly spied on both of them.
You may be interested in:
- Germany to use speech recognition software to trace origin of refugees seeking asylum
- Appeal to identify a possible refugee who was found hanging from a Wigan electricity tower
- Top UN official resigns amid pressure to withdraw Israel 'apartheid' report
- Trump insists his meeting with Merkel was 'good' while mounting another tirade on Nato allies