Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday that she stands with the four Democratic congresswomen of color whom President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocratic senator rips Trump's 'let them fight' remarks: 'Enough is enough' Warren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Trump touts Turkey cease-fire: 'Sometimes you have to let them fight' MORE suggested should "go back" to where they came from even though three were born in the U.S. and all are U.S. citizens.

Merkel said at a Berlin press conference that the comment, which Democrats and handful of Republicans condemned as racist, "undermines America's strength" according to CNN

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"I distance myself from this decidedly and stand in solidarity with the women who were attacked," she said, referring to Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez mourns Cummings: 'A devastating loss for our country' Booker endorses Lipinski challenger Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarKrystal Ball reacts to Ocasio-Cortez endorsing Sanders: 'Class power over girl power' The Hill's Morning Report - Tempers boil over at the White House Krystal Ball on Sanders debate performance: 'He absolutely hit it out of the park' MORE (Minn.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOcasio-Cortez mourns Cummings: 'A devastating loss for our country' Elijah Cummings, Democratic chairman and powerful Trump critic, dies at 68 Krystal Ball on Sanders debate performance: 'He absolutely hit it out of the park' MORE (Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyOcasio-Cortez mourns Cummings: 'A devastating loss for our country' Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings Omar endorses Sanders presidential bid MORE (Mass.)

"U.S.'s strength lies exactly in the fact that people of very different nationalities contribute to the strength of the American people," the chancellor added. 

"Those [Trump's statements] are sentiments which are very much in opposition to my impressions [about the U.S.], which I strongly believe in, and it is something that undermines America's strength," Merkel said. 

Trump on Sunday tweeted that the four women, known collectively as "the squad," should "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."

The House voted largely along partisan lines this week to condemn the remark as racist, with four Republicans and an Independent joining all Democrats in their rebuke of the president. 

At a Trump campaign rally Wednesday, the president's supporters chanted "send her back" in reference to Omar, who came to the U.S. as a refugee from Somalia. The chant was widely condemned, and Trump later tried to distance himself from it, saying, "I was not happy with it. I disagree with it."

On Friday, however, he blasted the press's "crazed" coverage of the rally, saying not enough attention is paid to past "vile and disgusting statements" from the lawmakers.