I stand in ‘solidarity’ with The Squad
WASHINGTON – German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday criticized President Donald Trump’s “go back” tweets about four Democratic congresswomen of color, saying that the president’s tweets contradict “the strength of America.”
“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,” Merkel said during an annual news conference in Berlin. “This is something that contradicts the strength of America.”
“I distance myself firmly from this and feel solidarity with the women who were attacked,” she continued.
Merkel is the second western leader in a day to speak out about the controversy sparked by Trump’s remarks this week. On Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the “send her back” chants that broke out at a Trump rally “completely unacceptable.”
More: Trudeau slams ‘send her back’ chant at Trump rally
Throughout the week Trump has repeatedly blasted Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.
The four lawmakers, who have become colloquially known as “The Squad,” are all American citizens. Omar immigrated from Somalia to the United States and is a naturalized U.S. citizen. The other three congresswomen were born in the U.S.
Since then, the four congresswomen have come out against Trump’s remarks, calling them “racist.” The House on Tuesday formally voted to condemn Trump’s tweets as racist.
During a Wednesday night rally, chants of “send her back” broke out as Trump criticized Omar. The president went on to slam the other three members of The Squad. The chanting has been criticized by Democrats and some Republicans.
More: What we know about the ‘send her back’ chants that erupted at Trump’s North Carolina rally
More: Trump employs familiar tactic in attacks on ‘Squad’: Distract and shift spotlight using racial rhetoric
More: Supporters chant ‘Welcome home, Ilhan’ as Rep. Ilhan Omar receives thunderous Minnesota welcome
Trump had initially distanced himself from the chant at his North Carolina rally on Thursday. But Friday after Merkel’s remarks, Trump continued to attack The Squad, in particular, Omar.
When asked about being unhappy about the chant, Trump said: “No, you know what I’m unhappy with? The fact that a congresswoman can hate our country.”
The president and Merkel have had a tense relationship throughout Trump’s tenure as president.
Most recently, at Wednesday’s rally Triump also referenced Merkel during his speech, saying that he had to badger her into paying her country’s bills. The president has frequently complained about the amount of defense costs in Europe that the U.S. is shouldering, especially in regard to NATO.
“There was a recent poll — Germany likes Obama better than Trump. A lot better. I said of course, because I’m making them pay their bills,” Trump said. “I’m saying you got to pay. I say, ‘Angela, Angela, you’ve got to pay, Angela!’ Obama would go in, make a speech, leave.
“I go in, make a speech, I say, ‘Let me speak to Angela. Angela you’ve got to pay your bills, you’re way behind,” he concluded.
Contributing: Associated Press
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