White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Tuesday said that President Donald Trump would describe his relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel as "fairly unbelievable."
Spicer went on to say that the two heads of state "get along very well" and that Trump "has a lot of respect" for Merkel.
"They continue to grow the bond that they had during their talks at the G-7," Spicer said. "[Trump] views not just Germany but the rest of Europe as an important American ally. During his conversations at NATO and at the G-7, the president reaffirmed the need to deepen and improve our transatlantic relationship."
When a reporter asked Spicer to explain why Merkel said Europe "could no longer depend on the United States," Spicer disputed that claim.
"Well, respectfully, that’s not what she said," said Spicer, before reading Merkel’s comments. She was quoted as saying, "Europe must take its fate into its own hands. This means working in friendship with the U.S., U.K. and neighborly relationships with Russia and other partners."
Spicer said that these words show the positive results of their "unbelievable" relationship.
"That’s what the president called for, he called for additional burden-sharing," Spicer said.
Spicer also credited Trump with changing NATO attitudes in general. "The secretary general of NATO said that the president’s calls are what’s moving them in the right direction," he said.
Various mainstream outlets have reported Merkel’s comments as a slight against the Trump administration’s foreign policy.