World leaders are expressing support for four far-left Congresswomen in the wake of a series of comments in which President Donald Trump challenged the lawmakers to leave the United States if they continue to criticize the country.
On Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel claimed President Trump’s remarks about the “Squad” — made up of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) — “undermine America’s strength.” She also said she stands “solidarity” with the lawmakers.
“I distance myself from this decidedly and stand in solidarity with the women who were attacked,” Merkel said in her remarks at a press conference in Berlin, according to CNN. “US’s strength lies exactly in the fact that people of very different nationalities contribute to the strength of the American people.”
President Trump on Sunday sent Democrats into a rage after calling on the freshman Congresswomen to “go back” and fix the “crime infested places from which they came.” He has since doubled down on his remarks at his Wednesday rally in Greenville, North Carolina, saying: “I have a suggestion for the hate-filled extremists who are constantly trying to tear our country down. They never have anything good to say. That’s why I say, ‘Hey, if you don’t like it, let ’em leave. Let ’em leave.’”
At one point during the rally, some in the crowd broke out into chants of “send her back,” in reference to Omar. The president distanced himself from the moment the following day, telling reports in the Oval Office: “I felt a little bit badly about it, but I will say this: I did start speaking very quickly… I was not happy with it. I disagree with it, but, again, I didn’t say that; they did.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined Merkel in denouncing President Trump’s comments at a news conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Ottawa.
“I think Canadians, and indeed people around the world, know exactly what I think of those comments,” Trudeau told reporters.
“That is not how we do things in Canada. A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian,” he added.
British Prime Minister Theresa May also condemned the president’s statements through her press office as “completely unacceptable.”