German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday that US President Donald Trump’s racist comments about four Democratic Congresswomen “undermine America’s strength” and that she stands in “solidarity” with the women.
Speaking at her annual news conference in Berlin, Merkel said: “I distance myself from this decidedly and stand in solidarity with the women who were attacked.”
She added that from her perspective the “US’s strength lies exactly in the fact that people of very different nationalities contribute to the strength of the American people.”
Trump told the four women of color that they should “go back” to the “crime-infested places” they came from, even though three of the four were born in America and the fourth is a naturalized citizen.
“Those (President Trump’s statements) are sentiments which are very much in opposition to my impressions (about the US) which I strongly believe in and it is something that undermines America’s strength,” Merkel said.
Trump has refused to apologize for the comments and continues to insist the tweets are not racist. The President tweeted Tuesday that he did not have a “racist bone in my body.”
Earlier in the week, a spokesman for UK Prime Minister Theresa May also criticized the comments, describing them as “completely unacceptable.” The two candidates in line to replace May as British Prime Minister – Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt – joined her in that criticism.
Doing ‘well’ after shaking incidents
In the week of her 65th birthday, Merkel also reiterated that she is fit to carry on as Germany’s Chancellor following a series of incidents where she was seen shaking uncontrollably in public.
Merkel told reporters that she understands the interest in her health, but reiterated that she is “doing well.”
The German Chancellor has been seen shaking in public three times in less than a month.
Merkel said she knows it’s important that she pays attention to her health as she carries out her role as Chancellor.
“I understand I need to be capable of performing these duties, and I can carry out this job,” she said.
The Chancellor previously told reporters that she was “working through some things … which do not seem to be over yet,” adding that she has to “live with it for a while but I am very well and one does not have to worry.”
Merkel was first seen shaking during a June 18 ceremony with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. She was then seen shaking on June 27 when she attended an event with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
The most recent episode was when she was seen trembling as she stood next to Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne in Berlin on July 10.
Tremors can be caused by a number of conditions, ranging from neurological disorders to less serious issues such as medicinal side effects, stress or caffeine consumption.
Merkel announced last year that she would not seek reelection when her term expires in 2021.
On Friday she said she hopes there will be “another life” after politics and that she will be healthy for it.