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 TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol 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-CortezOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Photos of the Week: Renewable energy, gymnast testimonies and a Met Gala dress Ocasio-Cortez, Bush push to add expanded unemployment in .5T spending plan MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOcasio-Cortez, Bush push to add expanded unemployment in .5T spending plan Enough with the GDP — it's time to measure genuine progress Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Democrats eye potential carbon price in reconciliation bill MORE (Minn.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibDemocratic bill would force Fed to defund fossil fuels Democrats brace for battle on Biden's .5 trillion spending plan 'Squad' members call on Biden to shut down Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota MORE (Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyHaitians stuck in Texas extend Biden's immigration woes Advocates 'in utter disbelief' after Biden resumes Haitian repatriations Democratic bill would force Fed to defund fossil fuels 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.