Merkel hands Trump his second win of the week

While some may have expected fireworks out of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to the White House Friday, I'd say it was a public relations victory for U.S. President Donald Trump.

The very first sentences out of Merkel's mouth couldn't have been scripted more perfectly for President Trump as he is pushing for a big boost in U.S. defense in his newly released budget. Merkel immediately spoke about how she agrees that European nations need to spend more to support NATO's military costs and highlighted the fact that Germany has done just that with a recent 8 percent increase in its financial support.

Merkel also made repeated points about how security against terrorism is vital for both countries, which was more than fortuitous for President Trump during the week he released his so-called "security budget."

It remained on a high note for the Trump team as Merkel refused to take the bait from a German reporter who was hoping to see if she would register some public objection to President Trump's more protectionist, (the reporter called them "isolationist"), economic policies. Merkel also refused to make even a gentle warning or objection to any economic tactics President Trump has taken or expressed so far.

But defense and security took a brief back seat at the end of their news conference to another issue that must have been most gratifying of all for President Trump. When another German reporter asked the president about the wiretapping accusations he's made against President Obama, President Trump pointed to Merkel and said, "at least we have something in common." Of course, that was in reference to information provided by Edward Snowden showing that the Obama team tapped Merkel's cellphone back in 2010.

Granted, that comment was about wiretapping Merkel, not Trump or Trump Tower, but it was still somewhat of a rhetorical win for team Trump. (You see? Obama DID wiretap!) Merkel provided the icing on the cake by not responding verbally to President Trump's comment and simply smiling in response.

Combine this Merkel meeting and news conference with the sad trombone ending to Rachel Maddow's revelation of his 2005 tax returns (there was no smoking gun in there, despite all the hype), and it's been a pretty decent week for the new administration even in the face of continued problems with the GOP health care bill and the usual suspect objections to the social services cuts in the Trump budget.

If this keeps up, President Trump might end up rooting for Merkel's re-election and invite her back to Washington more often.

Commentary by Jake Novak, senior columnist. Follow him on Twitter @jakejakeny.

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