Speed Reads


Merkel talks Iran, trade, defense spending with Trump

German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with President Trump at the White House Friday, where the two leaders discussed the Iran deal, trade, and defense spending.

While Trump and Merkel have not enjoyed the close relationship the president has developed with other leaders, like French President Emmanuel Macron, in this visit they made a show of congeniality, with Trump speaking of his desire for a "reciprocal relationship" and calling Merkel an "extraordinary woman."

Merkel spoke in support of maintaining the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump has said he may exit. Iran "will not be doing nuclear weapons," he said at the press conference Friday. "You can bank on it."

On trade, Merkel indicated continued impasse. "The president will decide. That is very clear," she said of Trump's plans for steel and aluminum tariffs, which Merkel and other European leaders have sought to avoid.

Trump also repeated his long-time push for NATO Europe members to meet the 2 percent of GDP military spending goal the treaty requires. "Other countries should be paying more, and I'm not saying Germany alone," he said. "NATO is wonderful, but it helps Europe more than it helps us, and why are we paying the vast majority of the costs?"

Watch two excerpts of their comments below. Bonnie Kristian