He Insulted Her on Campaign Trail. Now, They Meet

Trump, Merkel are seen as polar opposites in personality and world view
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2017 7:27 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Trump hosts German leader Angela Merkel at the White House on Friday, and the Christian Science Monitor says it could go a long way toward clarifying relations between the US and Europe under Trump. He's made disparaging comments about the EU, NATO, and Merkel herself, and analysts say this meeting isn't so much about resolving specific differences as about setting a tone for the path forward.

  • An analysis at Deutsche Welle notes that the two leaders could hardly be more different in both personality and world view. She is often described as "calm and collected," even "bland," while Trump is, well, not bland. On politics, she favors global cooperation, while Trump advocates nationalism, and their views on immigration are generally at polar opposites.
  • No shortage of topics could be on the agenda for what CNN calls this "odd couple," and its story takes a look at some likely ones—Russia, NATO, trade, climate change, refugees, and counterterrorism—and the thorny complications of each.
  • During the campaign, Trump accused Merkel of "ruining" Germany with her pro-immigrant policies ("I don't know what went wrong with her"), and that rhetoric has the potential to complicate Friday's meeting, explains the AP.

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  • Don't expect a showdown, however, argues this analysis at Politico. Germany needs the US more than the US needs Germany, and Merkel's main task will be to win over the president, writes Matthew Karnitschnig. And "if ever there were a politician capable of putting aside personal feelings in pursuit of her country’s strategic interests, it’s the German chancellor."
  • A Washington Post analysis runs through 10 "awkward questions" it hopes Trump is asked, starting with, "Do you still stand by earlier comments that NATO is 'obsolete'? If so, would you consider withdrawing the tens of thousands [of] US troops stationed in Germany?"
  • Germany, meanwhile, is threatening to sue Trump at the World Trade Organization if he moves forward with a border tax, per the Independent.
  • The Guardian looks back at how previous world leaders have fared in their meetings with President Trump, complete with images of some awkward handshakes.
(Read more Angela Merkel stories.)

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