Has ‘America First’ Become ‘Trump First’? Germans Wonder.
BERLIN — When Chancellor Angela Merkel told President Trump last week that she would not attend the Group of 7 meeting he wanted to host in Washington this month, the call between the two leaders, normally respectful in tone, turned testy.
Ms. Merkel cited the ongoing pandemic. Mr. Trump responded with a wide-ranging monologue about his frustrations with the Group of 7 and NATO and the World Health Organization. America was doing great, he said, even as citizens rioted in cities across the country. The pandemic was China’s fault.
They hung up after only 20 minutes.
“It was not a nice call,” said one official who was listening and recounted the exchange..
One week later, Germans learned that the United States planned to cut its troop presence in their country by more than a quarter. Some 9,500 soldiers who have helped keep peace on the continent are to leave within the next three months. There had been no warning, and even today there is not yet an official notification.
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