White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Wednesday that Chief of Staff John Kelly was not unhappy with President Trump when he looked away during Trump’s attack on Germany during a NATO summit breakfast, he “was displeased because he was expecting a full breakfast and there were only pastries and cheese.”
The White House was pushing back on a video that captured Kelly’s reaction to Trump’s public criticism of Germany earlier in the day.
Trump accused Germany of being “captive to Russia” over a gas pipeline deal.
“If you look at it, Germany is a captive of Russia because they supply,” the president said. “They got rid of their coal plants. They got rid of their nuclear. They’re getting so much of the oil and gas from Russia. I think it’s something that NATO has to look at. I think it’s very inappropriate.”
Video from the breakfast appears to show Kelly and other Trump senior officials appearing to react to his criticisms of Germany.
Kelly can be seen pursing his lips and looking away from the president.
Quite interesting to watch John Kelly's face in the background as Trump says that "Germany is totally controlled by Russia." (via ABC). pic.twitter.com/qJvj30a3zv
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 11, 2018
The Washington Post contacted several facial expression experts that said Kelly’s body language signaled irritation and displeasure, but not “hardcore anger.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that Kelly was “was displeased because he was expecting a full breakfast and there were only pastries and cheese.”
Trump’s comments about Germany drew immediate backlash from
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up in Soviet-controlled East Germany, fired back at President Trump’s accusations by saying that Germany is “united in freedom” and makes independent policies and decisions.
“I have experienced myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union,” Merkel said on Wednesday, referring to her childhood in communist East Germany. “I’m very glad that today we are united in freedom … because of that we can say that we can make our independent policies and make independent decisions.”