Donald Trump is catching hell from German European Affairs Minister Michael Roth for comments he made about German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Reuters reported that, on Monday at a Youngstown, Ohio rally, Trump compared Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to Chancellor Merkel, who allowed over a million refugees into Germany.
‘Hillary Clinton wants to be America’s Angela Merkel and you know what a disaster this massive immigration has been to Germany and the people of Germany. Crime has risen to levels that no one thought they would ever see. We have enough problems in our country, we don’t need another one.’
He blamed Merkel’s compassion and Germany’s open-door policy for an increase in crime in the country, and he based those claims on statistics that he pulled out of his Trump bag of facts. He stated, “Crime has risen to levels that no one thought they would ever, ever see. It is a catastrophe.”
Needless to say, Germany responded with criticism supported by ACTUAL facts. Roth responded to Trump’s comments and burned him by saying his statement was based on “fears, lies, and half-truths.” He stated, “I’m sorry that the Republican presidential candidate trumpets out things like that without any factual basis.”
He went on to explain that the situation in Germany is nowhere near as bad as Trump contends it to be:
‘If he had studied the actual situation in Germany, he would know that, while the many refugees who came to Germany and Europe pose a big challenge for us, and everything is still not completely resolved, they have not led to a massive increase in crime rates.’
Roth emphasized that Germany is a “peaceful country” and that its citizens respect each other. He also pointed out that the country continues to bring in refugees from the Middle East who are seeking shelter. Reuters reports that statistics from the German Interior Ministry confirm this assertion:
‘Statistics compiled by the German Interior Ministry showed the number of crimes reported in 2015 – excluding visa violations and other immigration violations – remained essentially unchanged from the previous year at 5.9 million.’
Trump’s opinion of Merkel has changed drastically since last year. In an interview with TIME on August 18, 2015, Trump praised Merkel highly.
‘Germany’s like sitting back silent collecting money and making a fortune with probably the greatest leader in the world today, Merkel. She’s fantastic. Highly respected.’
It’s important to note that Germany was already accepting massive numbers of refugees at that time. They also estimated that the number of refugees arriving in the country would increase to 800,000. Of course, Trump changed his mind about Merkel within the next few weeks. In October, he appeared on “Face the Nation” and backpedaled, saying:
‘Frankly, look, Europe’s going to have to handle it. But they’re going to have riots in Germany. What’s happening in Germany, I always thought Merkel was, like, this great leader. What she’s done in Germany is insane. It’s insane.’
Trump’s distaste for Merkel may also stem from the fact that she was deemed TIME‘s 2015 Person of the Year, while he came in as a runner up. After the announcement, he tweeted, “I told you @TIME Magazine would never pick me as person of the year despite being the big favorite. They picked person who is ruining Germany.”
I told you @TIME Magazine would never pick me as person of the year despite being the big favorite They picked person who is ruining Germany
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 9, 2015
Featured image via Getty/Jeff Swensen.