German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her shock Thursday after protesters stormed the US Capitol building demanding that the US election result be overturned.
“We all saw the unsettling pictures of the storming of the US Congress yesterday evening, and these images made me angry and sad,” Merkel told a meeting of conservatives.
Merkel said the president himself had to accept part responsibility for failing to concede.
“A ground rule of democracy is that after elections there are winners and losers. Both have their role to play with decency and responsibility so that democracy itself remains the winner.”
“I regret very much that President Trump not acknowledged his defeat since November and also again not yesterday. Doubts about the election outcome were stirred and created the atmosphere that made the events of last night possible.”
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas was among the first to say the images from Washington DC showed a contempt for democracy.
“The enemies of democracy will rejoice at these inconceivable images from #WashingtonDC,” he tweeted. “Seditious words turn to violent actions — on the steps of the Reichstag, and now in the #Capitol. Contempt for democratic institutions has devastating effects.”
“Trump and his supporters should finally accept the decision of the American voters and stop trampling democracy underfoot,” Maas added.
Merkel had shown her skepticism toward Donald Trump from the beginning. As recently as last summer, she refused to travel to Florida for a G7 meeting. The coronavirus epidemic served as her explanation. But her cancelation was widely seen as a repudiation of Trump and his policies.
Relations between Germany and the United States became strained over the four years of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Trump repeatedly criticized Germany over its defense spending, complaining that Berlin has failed to meet the NATO spending target of 2% of economic output.
Merkel and other German leaders are hoping for better communication channels and increased cooperation with Washington under Biden.
Angela Merkel: Trump shares blame for US Capitol storming The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Deutsche Welle.