At one point someone from the media asked for a handshake but the request was promptly ignored.
Now, a couple of weeks later, we learn what may have prompted some of the tension in the room between Merkel and Trump that day. According to a new report from The Times of London today, Trump apparently took advantage of Merkel’s visit to Washington D.C. to pass her a $375 billion invoice for ‘overdue’ NATO defense expenses. Per The Hill, Merkel largely ignored the invoice though it certainly seems to have accomplished it’s goal of ruffling some feathers.
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“The concept behind putting out such demands is to intimidate the other side, but the chancellor took it calmly and will not respond to such provocations,” a German minister told the newspaper.
Trump during his presidential campaign railed against the NATO alliance and has called for member countries to increase defense spending to support the organization.
Merkel “ignored the provocation,” the Times said.