German Chancellor Angela Merkel prepared extensively for a Friday meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump — preparations that included flipping through the pages of Playboy to gain insight into how Trump sees the world.
German officials told Reuters Merkel fastidiously studied past Trump interviews and speeches, including Playboy's lengthy 1990 Q&A, where Trump discussed many of the controversial ideas he is now trying to implement as president.
"That's how deeply she's delved in order to avoid exactly the sort of things going wrong that we have seen going wrong with a couple of leaders that have already come to Washington to see Donald Trump," global policy expert Joerg Forbrig told CNBC on Friday.
The meeting marks Trump and Merkel's first face-to-face encounter. White House officials have said the sit-down will be Trump's most important meeting with a foreign leader yet.
U.S. President Donald Trump greets Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel as she arrives to the West Wing of the White House in Washington, D.C. on March 17, 2017. (Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
The two have not shared an amicable relationship in the past. Trump has previously insulted Merkel in public comments.
In 2015, when Merkel was selected over Trump as TIME magazine's Person of the Year, he jumped on Twitter to take a shot at the chancellor.
"They picked person who is ruining Germany," he tweeted angrily.
I told you @TIME Magazine would never pick me as person of the year despite being the big favorite They picked person who is ruining Germany— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 9, 2015
He has also disagreed with her decision to welcome hundreds of thousands of refugees to enter Germany.
In a January interview, he told German newspaper Bild the decision was a "catastrophic mistake" on Merkel's part, and that she was allowing potential terrorists into Europe.
Merkel, however, has said she will take the high road on her visit.
On Monday, she told reporters that "one-on-one conversations are always much better than talking about each other."
"Talking together instead about each other: that’ll be my slogan for this visit, which I’m really looking forward to."
What else is riding on this meeting between two world leaders? Find out more in the video above.
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