Angela Merkel responds to being labeled Trump’s ‘punching bag’; He ‘has his opinions, I have mine’

May 28, 2019

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a CNN interview that aired Tuesday she works in “close cooperation” with President Trump despite the contentious moments they’ve had working together in the past.

CNN’s Christina Amanpour asked the German leader about her relationship with Mr. Trump, saying:“You’ve been a bit of at a punching bag for President Trump.”

“He’s said some quite strong things about your relationship with Russia, and all the rest of it. His own White House says he’s only strong with the people he considers friends. Do you consider him a friend,” Ms. Amanpour asked.

Ms. Merkel did not answer whether she and Mr. Trump were friends, but she remained diplomatic.

“I think we have close cooperation, which simply results from problems we have had to resolve together. In every communique which we had to declare, I was also the host for the G-20 negotiations in Hamburg. We had contentious debates. But in the end, we also found common ground,” she said.

“It’s certainly is always a challenge to debate, but I happily take on this challenge. The president has his opinions. I have mine. And very often, we also find common ground. If not, we have to keep on talking and negotiating,” Ms. Merkel said.

Mr. Trump and Ms. Merkel have traded verbal blows in the past, including Mr. Trump saying Germany was”a captive of the Russians” because of its dependence on energy supplies in 2018 and Ms. Merkelsayingin 2017 that the European Union would have to “take our destiny into our own hands” and not rely on the U.S. or the U.K.

Maria Stainer contributed to this article.

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