Germany's Merkel, planning to serve full term, backs under-fire protegee

Angela Merkel ‘Stands in Solidarity’ With Congresswomen After Trump Attack

President Donald Trump's xenophobic tweets "go against what makes America great", German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday, as she voiced solidarity with four minority Democratic congresswomen attacked by the USA leader.

In the week of her 65th birthday, Merkel also reiterated that she is fit to carry on as Germany's Chancellor following a series of incidents where she was seen shaking uncontrollably in public. "I distance myself firmly from this and feel solidarity with the three women who were attacked".

"People of very different nationalities have contributed to the strength of the American people, so these are ... comments that very much run counter to this firm impression that I have", said Mrs Merkel.

She later explained that her condition was caused by extreme heat, but a week later the shaking occurred again while the head of government was sitting in an office talking to German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Merkel told reporters that she understands the interest in her health, but reiterated that she is "doing well".

But Merkel added that she would stay out of her conservative bloc's decision on who should run in her place for chancellor at the next federal election in 2021.

Merkel said she was confident her protegee would do a good job with the defense portfolio, which has proven a poisoned chalice for several recent predecessors.

On Friday she said she hopes there will be "another life" after politics and that she will be healthy for it.

Merkel announced a year ago that she would not seek reelection when her term expires in 2021.

Merkel attributed a slowdown in Germany's economy, Europe's largest, to "uncertainty in global trading relationships" and said the government would try to stimulate domestic demand.

"The party will decide who will be chancellor candidate", she said, adding that her Christian Democrats and their Bavarian sister party would do this together.

The U.S. -German has shown signs of stress since Trump's ascent to the Oval Office.

Merkel also described Trump's stance as something that "that thwarts America's strength", and said that this strength is that the United States is somewhere that "people of very different nationalities have contributed to the strength of this people".

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