The White House on Wednesday acknowledged that Chief of Staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE was "displeased" in a video taken earlier in the day, but said it was not over President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations MORE’s public criticism of Germany.
According to the White House, Kelly was not happy with his meal.
Trump at a NATO summit breakfast on Wednesday said that Germany is “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 shows Kelly and other senior officials appearing to react to the comment. Kelly pursed his lips and looked away from the president.
Facial expression experts who analyzed the video for The Washington Post said Kelly’s body language signaled irritation and displeasure, but not “hardcore anger.”
But White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders offered an explanation for Kelly’s reaction to the Post.
“[Kelly] was displeased because he was expecting a full breakfast and there were only pastries and cheese,” Huckabee Sanders said.
It is not clear in the video what the officials were eating.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. mission to NATO did not immediately respond to the Post’s request for comment.
Trump’s comments about Germany drew immediate backlash from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as lawmakers in the U.S. Merkel said she remembered a childhood in Germany when the country was actually "captive of Russia." Trump and Merkel met later in the day and reportedly discussed the deal for a pipeline that would bring gas from Russia to Germany’s Baltic coast.
The NATO summit comes just days before Trump is scheduled to meet one-on-one with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.