President Trump fired back at critics in the news media Tuesday, dismissing the brouhaha over Russia and strained relations with Germany.
“Russian officials must be laughing at the U.S. & how a lame excuse for why the Dems lost the election has taken over the Fake News,” Mr. Trump tweeted.
News reports after the long holiday weekend were dominated by stories about Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and top aide Jared Kushner reaching out to Moscow during the transition and comments by German Chancellor Angela Merkel that cast a cloud over the president’s first trip abroad.
“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,” the president tweeted.
Reports about Mr. Kushner attempting to establish back-channel communications with Moscow during the transition dominated much of news reports over the weekend.
The action does not necessarily indicate wrongdoing, but the report furthered a storyline about alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian spies that has become a major distraction for the White House.
Mr. Trump’s critics also pointed to Ms. Merkel’s comments in a a campaign speech that her country can not rely on America, which followed Mr. Trump’s speech at a NATO summit in Brussels where he chided European leaders for not paying their fair share for the alliance’s military defense.
“The times when we could fully count on others are over to a certain extent. I have experienced this in the last few days,” said Ms. Merkel, apparently referring to interactions with Mr. Trump last week at NATO and G-7 summits they both attended in Europe. “We Europeans must really take our destiny into our own hands, of course in friendship with the United States, in friendship with Great Britain, with other neighbors wherever possible, also with Russia.”