German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, smiles as she arrives for her annual sommer press conference in Berlin, Germany, Friday, July 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

Germany's Merkel criticizes Trump comments on congresswomen

Merkel was asked at her annual summer news conference whether there she still sees a basis of common values with Trump after he said the congresswomen should "go back" to their own countries if they don't like America. All of the congresswomen are Americans, and three of them were born in the United States.

"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," said Merkel. "This is something that contradicts the strength of America."

Pressed later on whether she feels solidarity with the congresswomen, she replied: "Yes. I distance myself firmly from this and feel solidarity with the three women who were attacked."

Trump actually targeted four freshman Democratic lawmakers — Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley.

Merkel, a strong advocate of a multilateral approach to world affairs who took a welcoming approach to an influx of refugees and other migrants in 2015, has had a cool relationship with Trump.

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