Trump commends Merkel’s ‘incredible’ leadership on final day of G20
U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday commended German Chancellor, Angela Merkel’s handling of G20 summit in Hamburg amid deep divisions at the meeting and violent protests on the streets.
It was the most effusive praise Trump has so far had for the chancellor in many ways, marking a turnaround.
“You have been amazing and done an incredible job,” Trump told Merkel at a summit forum on women’s rights.
Merkel is however chairing the summit in the northern German port city.
“Your leadership is incredible and absolutely inspiring,” Trump told the chancellor, after the two had clashed on a range of issues, including trade, defence, climate change and refugees.
Trump’s “America First” rhetoric and his decision in June to withdraw from the Paris climate accord have riled Germany’s political establishment.
The president had also railed against the trade gap his country has with Germany, asking in a tweet why there were many German cars on American roads, and why Germany spent so little on its military in relation to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
As for their personal relationship, it has sometimes seemed strained, especially given tweets Trump has written slamming German policy and, sometime directly on Merkel.
In 2015, he tweeted that Merkel had made “a catastrophic mistake” in opening Germany’s borders in 2015 to about one million refugees fleeing wars in the Middle East and Africa.