"Very bad for U.S.", Trump wrote as he goaded Germany, a longtime United States ally, anew.

That's great. That's what the President called for. The German chancellor, the most powerful politician in Europe, grew up in East Germany, and her upbringing there has always been credited for her staunch support for closer European-U.S. ties.

A German member of Parliament, Norbert Rottgen, told CNN's Christiane Amanpour that Trump's latest moves are viewed in Germany as a lack of skill and interest in leading the "Western world".

He told European Union officials last week that Germany is "very bad on trade", and on Tuesday morning criticized Germany for not contributing enough to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. "Very bad for US This will change".

First and foremost, one thing that Trump seems unable to grasp is that the USA can not sign trade deals with individual European Union member states (indeed, Merkel repeatedly informed him of this, but to no avail).

His top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, proceeded to display either an audacious contempt - or baffling ignorance - of the European Union's most basic principles, by raising the prospect of the USA reaching a bilateral trade agreement with Germany (the EU only negotiates trade deals as a group).

And, even after he held a frosty meeting with Merkel in Washington in March and heard her explain Germany has no independent, non-EU trade policy, Trump continues to complain about Germany s surplus.

In Washington, Trump administration officials on Tuesday appeared to try to soften the message underlying Trump's tweet with comments emphasising the importance of US-European ties. Merkel's message, though not entirely new but all the more urgent, is that Europe - already suffering the departure of Britain as an European Union member - must take responsibility for its own destiny.

"The times when we could fully rely on others are to some extent over".

The German leader reiterated the main thrust of her remarks on Tuesday, saying the "current situation" gives Europe more reasons "to take our destiny into our own hands".

She also stressed that "Europe must become a player active in worldwide affairs".

Her foreign minister, a political rival, upped the rhetoric Monday by declaring that with Trump's policies, "the West has become smaller".

And Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, also a Social Democrat, said Monday that if the Trump administration "finds pushing through national interests more important than an global order. then I say that the West has become smaller - it has at least become weaker". Trade, development, humanitarian aid, and climate change, among many other issues, are the EU's prerogative.

At the Group of Seven summit that followed, Trump's first, passages on free trade and on immigration were substantially altered compared to previous years, while the United States was alone in failing to commit to the global Paris climate agreement. Saudi Arabia did everything in its power to flatter Trump's ego, gifting him a gold medal, a $110 billion arms deal, and orb access.