Trump tweets against Germany, escalating row after tense summits

U.S. President Donald Trump called Germany’s trade and spending policies “very bad” on Tuesday, intensifying a row between the allies and immediately earning himself the moniker “destroyer of Western values” from a leading German politician.

Trump took to Twitter early in the day in the United States to attack Germany, a day after Chancellor Angela Merkel ramped up her doubts about the reliability of Washington as an ally.

The tit-for-tat row has escalated rapidly after Trump criticized major NATO allies over their military spending and refused to endorse a global climate change accord at back-to-back summits last week.

“We have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO & military. Very bad for U.S. This will change,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

On Monday, Merkel showed how seriously she is concerned about Washington’s dependability under Trump by repeating the message she delivered a day earlier that the times when Europe could fully rely on others were “over to a certain extent”.

Those comments, which sent shock waves through Washington, vented Europe’s frustration with Trump on climate policy in particular.

Senior German politicians responded swiftly to his tweet.

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