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 TrumpAdvisor: Sanders could beat Trump in Texas Bloomberg rips Sanders over Castro comments What coronavirus teaches us for preventing the next big bio threat 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 claps back after article on her dress: 'Sequins are a great accessory to universal healthcare' Democrats working to ensure Trump's second term Ocasio-Cortez announces slate of all-female congressional endorsements MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarSanders unveils plan for government-funded child care, pre-K Ilhan Omar accuses Meghan McCain of trafficking in 'anti-Muslim smears and hate speech' Sanders wins endorsement of top Muslim group MORE (Minn.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibSanders wins endorsement of top Muslim group Don't let 'welfare for all' advocates derail administration's food stamp program reforms Omar endorses progressive Georgia Democrat running for House seat MORE (Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyThere's no such thing as a free bus Don't let 'welfare for all' advocates derail administration's food stamp program reforms Tlaib says she held Omar's hand during 'triggering' moments at Trump's State of the Union speech 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.