President Donald Trump met with European Union leaders in Brussels to discuss trade, calling Germany “very bad” on the issue.
The comment startled the Germans, as Der Spiegel quickly headlined his remark.
Trump says Germans are bad on trade, but that isn’t how Der Spiegel is playing it in the headline pic.twitter.com/zGzgFoKhWq
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) May 26, 2017
But Trump specifically pointed to the amount of German vehicles that were sold in the United States, according to their article.
“See the millions of cars they are selling to the U.S.” Trump said, according to Der Spiegel. “Terrible. We will stop this.”
White House chief economic advisor Gary Cohn clarified the comment, speaking with a reporter at the G7 Summit.
“He said they’re very bad on trade but he doesn’t have a problem with Germany,” he said, speaking for Trump. “He said his dad is from Germany. He said ‘I don’t have a problem with Germany, I have a problem with German trade.'”
The president is expected to focus on trade during his visit with world leaders at the G7 Summit in Sicily.
Prior to the summit, Cohn spoke to reporters about Trump’s desire to fight for “fair” trade policies.
“Trade is going to be a big topic. We are going to continue to fight for what we believe is right, which is free, open and fair trade, which the president has been very clear on what that means,” he said. “What the president means by free and open is, we will treat you the way you treat us, meaning if you don’t have barriers to trade or you don’t have tariffs, we won’t have tariffs. If you have tariffs, we should have tariffs.”