OSAKA, Japan—President Donald Trump met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the margins of the G-20 summit in Osaka on June 27. Before the start of the bilateral meeting, Trump told Merkel he would rather be spending time with her at the summit than watching the Democratic debate on TV.
The leaders of the world’s biggest economies have gathered in Osaka for the 14th G-20 summit that will run through June 28-29. On the first day of the summit, Trump held a bilateral meeting with Merkel on the sidelines to discuss trade and geopolitical issues.
At the meeting, Trump called the German leader “a great friend of mine.”
“She’s a fantastic person, a fantastic woman, and I’m glad to have her as a friend,” he said.
Trump said that trade with Germany reached a high level and may go even higher. Merkel thanked Trump and noted that “German companies are investing a lot” in the United States. Trump later shared his comments on the Democratic debate that kicked off June 26.
“You know, they have a debate going on. They had the first debate last night. Perhaps you saw it. It wasn’t very exciting,” Trump told Merkel.
“They have another one today. They definitely have plenty of candidates. That’s about it. So I look forward to spending time with you rather than watching.”
The first Democratic primary debate took place on June 26 in Miami, Florida. Ten of the 20 candidates who qualified for the first Democratic presidential participated in the debate. The second part of the debate aired on June 27 and featured the frontrunners of the Democratic primary: former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
During the meeting with Merkel, Trump also criticized the debate saying, “I saw that health care, and maximum health care was given to 100 percent of the illegal immigrants coming into our country by the Democrats. And unfortunately, they didn’t discuss what they’re giving to American citizens.”
According to the White House, Trump and Merkel discussed a wide range of issues in their bilateral meeting, including “Iran’s dangerous activity in the Middle East, stabilizing Libya and the Sahel region, and supporting economic reform in Ukraine.”
Another topic of discussion was China and setting fair trade standards.