Merkel criticises Trump's 'go back' comments on Democratic lawmakers

Clay Curtis
July 20, 2019

German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized President Donald's Trump's comments that four Democratic congresswomen should "go back" to where they came from, saying the idea "contradicts America's strength", and expressed "solidarity with the attacked women".

"I firmly distance myself from (the attacks) and I feel solidarity towards" the attacked women, she said, adding that in her view, "the strength of America lies in that people from different (origins) contributed to what makes the country great".

Germany's Angela Merkel threw her weight behind her embattled new defense minister and heir-apparent on Friday, while insisting she herself was fit to carry on serving as chancellor through to the end of her term in 2021.

Pressed by reporters about her health after it appeared she was shaking during several recent public appearances, Merkel, who turned 65 this week, brushed aside concerns. She was then seen shaking on June 27 when she attended an event with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. After one such bout, a government official told Reuters that it was more a psychological issue as she tried desperately to avoid a repeat.

"I hope there is life after my time in office and I would like to lead it in good health", she said.

She made the remarks during a speech at the yearly German Federal Press Conference (BPK) in Berlin.

Asked how she was feeling, Merkel added, "Good".

Video shows man climbing down a high-rise to escape a fire
And so a man grasped the side of a 19-story high-rise that had caught fire in Philadelphia on Thursday and started descending. Philadelphia Fire Assistant Chief Harry Bannan told ABC that, "We did make some forcible entry on some units".

The chancellor is trying to stage-manage a slow-motion exit and in December gave up the chair of her Christian Democrats to protégée Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

"I am convinced she will do that very well", she said.

Merkel announced previous year that she would not seek reelection when her term expires in 2021.

Merkel still enjoys solid popularity ratings, but her party's performance in polls has been poor recently and it remains unclear who will be her party's candidate to succeed her as chancellor, a job she has held since 2005.

The German leader and Trump have clashed before over her immigration policy.

Europe must step up as a player in world affairs, Merkel said in 2017, signalling that the European Union needs to take control of its destiny in the Trump era.

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