For decades, America and Germany have been tremendous allies; staring down the Soviet Union, working with each other in ways to bolster both our economies and joining up to defeat authoritarianism and terrorism within the Middle East. Since Trump’s inauguration, this relationship has gone south in a hurry. While it may not be all that surprising given Trump’s position on multiple fronts, this key relationship has blown up rapidly and much more forcefully than any other such relationship with an ally to date.
All this is happening as new leaks are coming from the intelligence community, making their way to Claude Taylor (see below), a veteran of 3 presidential campaigns and former White House Staff member under Clinton. Such leaks certainly point in an ominous direction, both for Trump and America in general.
“A source in IC is telling me that while many allies Intel Agencies have sent incriminating evidence against the Trump family-Germany’s has ‘bent over backwards’ in providing evidence including large amount of intercepts going back a decade showing pattern of criminality. My source goes on to say that Trump is aware of Germany’s efforts and is blaming Merkel and this explains his recent behavior re Germany,” tweeted Taylor late yesterday.
While on the surface, such accusations from within the intelligence community seem somewhat implausible, the recent tit-for-tat word war between the two countries seems to at least add fuel to this fire.
Late last week it was reported by the German Media outlet, Der Spiegel, that President Trump had called Germany “very bad” due to the fact that they run a trade surplus with the United States. He then reportedly went on to threaten the German auto industry, stating that he will stop German automakers from selling in the US. This seems like an unintelligent way to deal with one of our biggest allies and trading partners within the region, especially when those automakers employ tens of thousands of Americans. Then their was this tweet this morning from the President:
“We have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO & military. Very bad for U.S. This will change”
It would be understandable to see something like this coming from Trump pertaining to China, but a country who fought by our sides in Iraq and Afghanistan, losing many men and women, should not be treated this way, even by Trump’s standards, one would think.
The feud is far from one-sided however, With Merkel saying last week, “The times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out. I’ve experienced that in the last few days. We, the Europeans, will have to take our fate into our own hands. Our friendship with the US, the UK, our neighborly relationship with Russia and also with other countries count, of course. But we must know, we have to fight for our own future.”
Germany has also expressed concern about sharing intelligence with the U.S. as they don’t know where that intelligence may be leaking to. Thomas Opperman, the leader of the Social Democrats (SDP) in Germany stated, “This is a dangerous situation. It cannot continue as it is. This endangers the information exchange and can be dangerous for both sides.”
So what does Merkel and Germany have on Trump? Do they know more than most countries do about this possibly compromising situation? On the other hand, what does Trump know Germany knows? Could this be why the two nations, allies for decades, are seemingly at each other’s throats quite suddenly? It certainly makes sense given the leaks coming from the intelligence community.