Angela Merkel calls for standardized European rules on using data

Katherine Zappone

The White House conceded Friday that the administration, through Spicer and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, spoke with May's government but the Trump team denied it extended an apology to Downing Street.

Donald Trump has dismissed reports of him seemingly snubbing Angela Merkel's request for a handshake as "fake news".

Mrs Merkel, who was travelling with top executives from German companies Siemens, Schaeffler and BMW, said she hoped the U.S. and the European Union could resume talks on removing barriers to bilateral trade.

Mr Trump said Mr Spicer was merely quoting a Fox News analyst when he made the comments. "We have made clear to the administration that these claims are ridiculous and that they should be ignored and we have received assurances that these allegations won't be repeated", he told reporters at a regular briefing on Friday.

Republicans in Congress also said Trump should retract his claims.

However, former foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind said it was not enough to promise not to repeat the allegation.

In a frequently awkward joint press conference, Mr. Trump and Ms. Merkel showed little common ground as they addressed a host of thorny issues including North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, defense spending and free trade deals.

"I don't think we regret anything", the president's spokesman said.

She says the two discussed apprenticeship programs, and worldwide politics during the early part of their visit.

Meeting in Washington to discuss trade, immigration and the future state of NATO, Trump welcomed Merkel with a handshake at the entrance of the White House, but once they got to the Oval Office it was game over. Though Merkel looked to Trump in a sign that she'd be happy to make the friendly gesture, POTUS didn't even budge, instead sitting quietly and smiling at the group of journalists. The new USA president, a political novice before the 2016 campaign, had his first face-to-face talks with a veteran German leader whom he frequently maligned on the campaign trail, and whose free-trade, open-border politics stand in marked contrast to Trump's nationalistic rhetoric.

Merkel has received significant criticism in the United States and in Europe for her willingness to accept large numbers of migrants fleeing conflicts in the Middle East, especially in Syria, a position Trump has said he totally rejects.

RT: German Chancellor has been deviating from her welcome-door rhetoric recently calling for faster deportations of failed asylum seekers also saying that external borders should be protected to keep Schengen.

The White House has asked the House and Senate intelligence committees to investigate the matter as part of their inquiries into Russia's hacking of the presidential election and possible contacts between Trump associates and Russian officials.

In January, she explained during a phone call to him that the Geneva Convention obliges signatories, including the USA, to take in refugees of war on humanitarian grounds.