Wednesday 21 August 2019

Merkel criticises Trump’s ‘go back’ comments on Democratic lawmakers

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was questioned at her annual summer news conference.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel smiles as she arrives for her annual summer press conference in Berlin (Michael Sohn/AP)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel smiles as she arrives for her annual summer press conference in Berlin (Michael Sohn/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has criticised US President Donald Trump’s comments about four female Democratic lawmakers, saying they run counter to what she considers “the strength of America”.

Mrs Merkel was asked at her annual summer news conference whether she still sees a basis of common values with Mr Trump after he said the congresswomen should “go back” to their own countries if they do not like America.

All of the congresswomen are Americans and three of them were born in the United States.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel was questioned over Donald Trump’s comments (Michael Sohn/AP)

“People of very different nationalities have contributed to the strength of the American people, so these are … comments that very much run counter to this firm impression that I have,” said Mrs Merkel. “This is something that contradicts the strength of America.”

Pressed later on whether she feels solidarity with the congresswomen, she replied: “Yes. I distance myself firmly from this and feel solidarity with the three women who were attacked.”

Mr Trump actually targeted four Democratic lawmakers — Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley.

Mrs Merkel, a strong advocate of a multilateral approach to world affairs who took a welcoming approach to an influx of refugees and other migrants in 2015, has had a cool relationship with Mr Trump.

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