Over the course of his campaign, Trump also routinely attacked the German chancellor's refugee policies, dubbing Hillary Clinton "America's Angela Merkel" and saying Merkel had turned out to be a "catastrophic leader." To Trump, Merkel was basically a punchline and a bogeywoman for the anti-refugee crowd. (He would later also call her a great leader, for some reason.)
So when Merkel visited the White House, we could be forgiven for sensing a little bit of awkwardness. Here are some photos:
Trump didn't respond to shouted questions about his past criticisms of Merkel after the photo op, but Merkel later made an oblique reference to them during their news conference.
Okay. We know. We know. A photo can be misleading. So we'll show you the video and let you judge for yourself.
At least he didn't try to rub her back to make up for his past comments.