US reporters praise German journalists for questioning Trump

US journalists had praise for their German colleagues after a White House press conference with Chancellor Merkel and President Trump. DW's Brent Goff said US reporters were "shocked" by the pointed questions.

US President Donald Trump claimed that German news agency reporter Kristina Dunz was interested in "fake news" when she asked him about isolationist policies. In her report, Dunz later wrote, "It is no longer a custom in the White House that hard, uncomfortable questions receive factual answers."

The president also used a question from "Die Welt" journalist Ansgar Graw about his statements on Twitter to joke that he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel "had something in common, perhaps," in that their phones were tapped. The president did not mention that proof of the National Security Agency listening in on Merkel's phone existed. Trump also failed to provide evidence backing up his bombshell claim that former President Barack Obama had wiretapped his communications. 

Those were two of the tough questions Trump faced during a press conference Friday with Merkel that led US journalists who cover the White House to praise the tenacity of their German colleagues.

Politico reporter Tara Palmeri admitted her German colleagues posed more substantial questions.

Trump was also asked point-blank by one reporter why he keeps making statements he knows are not true. It was a question that DW's Brent Goff said "shocked" US reporters.

CNN White House reporter Jeremy Diamond applauded German reporters for sticking to a line of questioning on phone taps.

"Washington Post" political reporter Abby Phillip also had praise for German questions about Trump's wiretap claims.

Ryan Lizza, a writer for "New Yorker" magazine also remarked on the difference in questioning style.

The straightforward line of questioning visibly put off Trump, according to Goff.

9 must-read books to face the Trump era


George Orwell's "1984" pops up repeatedly on lists, with the literary classic opening a window into authoritarian regimes. The dystopian novel delves into what it means to live in a state of tyranny, including omnipresent government surveillance and public manipulation. Pictured here is a film still from the 1956 movie adaptation of the novel.

9 must-read books to face the Trump era

'The Origins of Totalitarianism'

Hannah Arendt's essay "The Origins of Totalitarianism," originally published in English in 1951, has also garnered considerable attention. Arendt (1906-1975), who fled Nazi Germany, was one of the first political theorists to analyze how totalitarian political movements rose in the early 20th century. A few weeks ago, online bookseller Amazon briefly ran out of the work.

9 must-read books to face the Trump era

'Brave New World'

What college student, or high school student for that matter, hasn't read Aldous Huxley's novel "Brave New World"? The 1932 novel looks at how society is kept in line through psychological manipulation and conditioning.

9 must-read books to face the Trump era

'The Handmaid's Tale'

Margaret Atwood's feminist dystopia "The Handmaid's Tale" has resurfaced on the nightstands of women participating in political protests, such as at the massive Women's March in Washington in January. The 1985 novel, set in a futuristic New England, looks at the oppression of women in a totalitarian theocracy after the overthrow of the US government. Natasha Richardson starred in a 1990 film.

9 must-read books to face the Trump era

'The Man in the High Castle'

In 1962, Philip K. Dick's novel "The Man in the High Castle" envisioned how life could have looked in the United States under totalitarian rule by the victorious Nazi Reich and Japanese Empire. A TV series loosely based on the novel was released in 2015. As part of its advertising campaign, a New York subway was controversially covered in the imagery of the show, seen here.

9 must-read books to face the Trump era

'The United States of Fear'

Tom Engelhardt's "The United States of Fear," published in 2011, looks at how fear has fueled massive US investment in the military and national security, only to ultimately gridlock the country.

9 must-read books to face the Trump era

'Things That Can and Cannot Be Said'

"Things That Can and Cannot Be Said" is a collection of essays and conversations by Arundhati Roy and John Cusack, who reflect on their talks with NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden in Moscow in 2014. Surveillance and the nature of the state take center stage in these dialogues and texts, as well as the role of symbols, such as flags, amid patriotism.

9 must-read books to face the Trump era

'The Power of the Powerless'

Vaclav Havel's 1978 essay "The Power of the Powerless" offers a compelling alternative to the current gloom-and-doom outlook. The Czech writer and former president expands on methods of resistance among ordinary citizens and how totalitarian regimes can give birth to dissidents.

9 must-read books to face the Trump era

'The Captive Mind'

Polish poet and Nobel Prize laureate Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004) became an American citizen in 1970. His non-fiction "The Captive Mind" drew on his experiences as a dissident writer in the Eastern Bloc. It is an intellectual reckoning with the allure of Stalinism and the deadening of the mind through Western consumerism.