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December 11, 2018

Trump criticism supports far-right Germans against Angela Merkel

June 23, 2018
President Trump’s criticisms of Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel have been latched onto by the far-right. (Sean Gallup / Getty Images)

President Trump may be actively trying to alienate the U.S. from ally Germany, and his factually incorrect attacks on the country’s immigration policy have sided with the country’s rising far-right.

Americans have seen the human face of Trump’s immigration policies as thousands of undocumented children have been separated from their families at the border, but the President decided to focus on borders thousands of miles away with criticism of Berlin.




“The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition. Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!” Trump posted on Twitter Monday.

“We don’t want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!”

German and American media quickly pointed out that crime in Germany is at its lowest level since the early 1990s, according to a report from the Interior Ministry.

That ministry is led by Horst Seehofer, an ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel whose right-leaning criticism of her on immigration threatens to break up the government she patched together earlier this year.

Seehofer’s CSU, based in conservative Bavaria, is threatened this autumn by the rise of the Alternative for Deutschland, AfD, a far-right party deeply opposed to refugees from Muslim countries that Merkel has brought in as a Western response to the continuing violence in Syria.

Trump himself is deeply unpopular in Germany, though AfD, which jumped to more than 12% of the vote in elections last year, blasted his message out to its followers on Monday.

The U.S. has long been a “melting pot” of different cultures, his rhetoric on Wednesday also tracked closely to European-style far-right campaigns that view countries as built around an ethnic nation.

AfD leader Alice Weidel visited former Trump adviser Steve Bannon in Switzerland during his small European tour this spring, and other AfD leaders appear to appreciate Trump’s attacks on Merkel.

A small delegation from the party visited Washington earlier this month, where deputy Armin-Paul replied to a Berliner Zeitung question about Trump’s threatened trade war with Europe by saying he is a “businessman.”

Trump has said he has a “great relationship” with the Chancellor though he has made a string of criticisms on immigration and trade against her before openly speculating about the demise of her government.

Seehofer has said Merkel has two weeks to make a larger migration deal with other European nations before he unilaterally tells border guards to turn away refugees, a move that would likely lead to his firing and the collapse of the current German coalition.




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