Merkel had to teach Trump how the EU works

"On the eleventh refusal, Trump finally got the message"

Merkel had to teach Trump how the EU works

Michael Kappeler/DPA/PA Images

More details have emerged regarding German Chancellor Angela Merkel's frosty meeting with US President Donald Trump last month.

German officials have claimed that Mr Trump was unaware that he could not make a trade deal with only Germany, rather than the whole of the Union.

EU rules do not allow bilateral trade deals. The US and EU have been locked in controversial trade negotiations for years.

"Ten times Trump asked if he could negotiate a trade deal with Germany ... Everytime she replied 'You can't do a deal with Germany, only the EU," a senior German official told The Sunday Times.

"On the eleventh refusal, Trump finally got the message," the source added.

The official continued to say that Ms Merkel reported to her cabinet that the US president has, "very basic misunderstandings," about EU trade policy.

Trump's Europe

"You look at the European Union and it’s Germany. Basically a vehicle for Germany. That’s why I thought the UK was so smart in getting out," Donald Trump said shortly after he took office.

Mr Trump has argued that signing a trade deal with the EU would effectively be an agreement between the US and Germany.

He has also described Germany's migrant policy as a "catastrophic mistake" and threatened to put import tariffs on German cars.

The pair's first meeting is perhaps best remembered for the US President's refusal to shake hands with the German leader during a White House press event.