The White House meeting scheduled for Tuesday between President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been postponed, press secretary Sean Spicer announced Monday, because of a winter storm bearing down on the East Coast.
The meeting between the two leaders has been moved to Friday, Spicer said, following a conversation between the two leaders. Spicer said Friday’s meeting will follow the same schedule of events.
A major, late-season winter storm is bearing down on the Eastern Seaboard, with blizzard and winter storm warnings posted from Central Virginia all the way north to the Canadian border. While only 4 to 6 inches of snow are forecast for Washington itself, accumulations could be significantly higher in the close-in western suburbs. At Dulles International Airport, forecasts are calling for 8 to 12 inches of snow, beginning Monday night and ending during the day on Tuesday.
Spicer said Trump has been briefed on the incoming weather by his homeland security adviser and the acting FEMA director. He said Trump has instructed the acting FEMA head to “lean forward” and be prepared to aid states in need of assistance.
The rescheduled meeting will put Trump face-to-face with a world leader who he lambasted during last year’s presidential campaign over her nation’s willingness to accept refugees from Syria.
Merkel, in her congratulatory statement to Trump marking his election victory, took a veiled jab at Trump’s rhetoric, calling on the U.S. and Germany to work together on shared values such as “democracy, freedom, respect for the law and for human dignity, regardless of origin, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political inclination.”
Steve Shepard contributed to this report.
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