Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel spoke out against President Donald Trump on Friday following his comments earlier in the week that many have deemed racist, per Politico.
The move is a rarity, Politico noted, as the German chancellor rarely comments on political happenings outside of her own country.
The president on Sunday tweeted that four freshman congresswomen, who regularly criticize his policies, should “go home” to their ancestral countries. All four of the congresswomen, which include Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, are U.S. citizens. All were born in the United States except for Omar, who came to the U.S. from Somalia as a refugee as a child.
Merkel said she felt solidarity with the woman the president lashed out against, and that the strength of the United States lies in its diverse population.
“Those are sentiments which are very much in opposition to my impressions, which I strongly believe in and it is something that undermines America’s strength,” Merkel said about Trump’s tweets at her annual press conference in Berlin, per CNN.
CNN reported that Merkel was not the only foreign leader to speak out against Trump’s recent rhetoric. A spokesperson for outgoing U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May criticized the comments, as have both candidates in the running to replace May to lead the U.K.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also weighed in on the situation, calling “Send her back!” chants shouted by supporters of the president at a North Carolina rally on Wednesday “completely unacceptable,” per USA Today.
The president has said that he didn’t support that chant, telling reporters on Thursday that they should ask his supporters why they decided to start the chant, per a previous report from The Inquisitr.
The foreign leaders are in the company of many U.S. leaders who have condemned the president’s recent comments. The House voted on Tuesday to condemn his tweets, with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, among others, calling the president’s Sunday tweets racist.
The president has insisted he is not racist and has refused to apologize for the comments. In an interview earlier this week, Trump said he wasn’t bothered by the reaction to his tweets.
The relationship between the United States and Germany has shifted since Trump took office in 2017. According to a report from The Washington Post from last year, Germans have become increasingly dissatisfied with the United States and its policies during the Trump administration. The article noted that while about 70 percent of those surveyed in the U.S. had a positive perception of the relationship between the two nations, the same amount of those asked about the relationship in Germany had a negative perception.