Merkel condemns Trump’s xenophobic tweets
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday condemned President Donald Trump’s xenophobic tweets against four minority Democratic congresswomen, saying the US leader’s attacks “go against what makes America great”.
“I firmly distance myself from (the attacks) and I feel solidarity towards” the women, she told journalists.
“In my view, the strength of America lies in that people from different (origins) contributed to what makes the country great.”
Trump on Sunday urged a group of four progressive Democratic congresswomen of colour — all American citizens and three of them US-born — to “go back” to their countries of origin.
Despite a domestic uproar over the comments which were deemed “racist” by the House of Representatives, Trump repeatedly renewed his attack.
“If you’re not happy here, you can leave…. This is about love for America, certain people hate our country,” he tweeted on Tuesday, while repeating the same message to a rally on Wednesday.
International condemnation has rained down over the comments. British Prime Minister Theresa May called them “completely unacceptable”. New Zealand’s leader Jacinda Ardern said she “completely and utterly” disagreed with Trump.
While usually refraining from commenting on other countries’ domestic politics, Merkel on Friday had markedly sharp words about Trump’s latest attacks.
Questions over racism are particularly sensitive in Germany given its Nazi past, and the government routinely speaks out forcefully in favour of tolerance and diversity.