Trump meets Merkel: an encounter of the odd kind
The views expressed in this commentary are his own.
Mrs Merkel visited the White House for a key summit with Mr Trump, in their first face-to-face meeting.
Trump also made it clear to Merkel that Germany and other European nations must pay their "fair share" of costs for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
During a joint press conference, Trump was asked by a German reporter about his recent allegations that his predecessor spied on him during last year's allegations.
After Trump suggested they shared the experience of being covertly monitored by the previous government, the German chancellor couldn't hide her surprise, narrowing her eyes and wincing before staring at the president with barely disguised astonishment.
Read: What Are The Core Issues To Be Discussed During Trump And Merkel's First Meeting?
"Our two nations share much in common, including our desire for prosperity, security, and peace", Trump said. Later, both leaders told reporters their meeting was very good.
But even behind closed doors, tension remained.
Donald Trump hosts Germany's Angela Merkel at the White House Friday, a meeting delayed by a snowstorm and still clouded by a storm of words between the two ostensible allies. Her hand is on top which means, this time, Mr Trump has not felt the need to crush the other politicians hand.
Trump seems to think North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies pay the U.S.to defend them, which isn't accurate.
"I thanked the chancellor for her commitment to spending 2% of GDP [on NATO]", said Trump, adding that he fully supports North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Obama was full of praise for Merkel as he left office, calling her leadership of Germany a model for the world.
Another awkward moment occured during a press conference in the White House's East Room.
"We said nothing", Trump said in reference to Spicer's repetition of claims made on Fox News "All we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for that on television".
In her first telephone conversation with Mr Trump after he took office, she explained that the Geneva Convention obliges signatories, including the United States, to take in refugees of war on humanitarian grounds.
Merkel faces Trump for the handshake, but Trump. just kind of stares into space, ignoring her completely.