US President Donald Trump spoke separately Tuesday with his German and French counterparts following moves by the U.S., Canada and Europe to expel Russian diplomats in retaliation for a chemical attack in the U.K.
In the call with Ms. Merkel, “both leaders praised the joint announcements from North Atlantic Treaty Organization Allies, European Union member states, and other partners to expel undeclared Russian intelligence officers in solidarity with the United Kingdom and in response to Russia’s reckless use of chemical weapons. The President and the Chancellor discussed joining forces to counter China’s unfair economic practices and illegal acquisition of intellectual property. They also discussed leveling the playing field on tariffs and the crisis with North Korea,” according to the White House.
The matter was also raised in Trump's telephone call with French President Emmanuel Macron, the White House said in a separate statement.
"Both leaders expressed support for the West’s strong response to Russia’s chemical weapons attack in Salisbury, United Kingdom, including the expulsion of numerous Russian intelligence officers on both sides of the Atlantic. President Trump stressed the need to intensify cooperation with Turkey with respect to shared strategic challenges in Syria. The two leaders also discussed trade practices between the United States and European Union and the next steps in addressing China’s unfair trade practices,” according to the White House.