German Chancellor Angela Merkel (left) and President Donald John Trump who is seeking a reelection
German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on Wednesday warned the United States was facing a “very explosive situation” and a possible systemic crisis after President Donald Trump prematurely declared election victory. Following Trump’s remarks that he will go to the Supreme Court to stop ballots from being tallied, Kramp-Karrenbauer told public broadcaster ZDF “this election has not been decided… votes are still being counted. She said Trump could create “a constitutional crisis in the USA”, calling such a scenario “something that must deeply concern us”.
Meanwhile Joe Biden’s White House campaign slammed President Donald Trump’s threat to try to stop the election vote count as “outrageous” early Wednesday, saying its legal team was ready to prevent such an “unprecedented” act. “The president’s statement tonight about trying to shut down the counting of duly cast ballots was outrageous, unprecedented, and incorrect,” Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said in a statement as the election remained undecided. Never before in our history has a president of the United States sought to strip Americans of their voice in a national election.”
The German minister, who is also head of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, said it appeared “the battle over the legitimacy of the result, however, it turns out, has begun”. She admitted that the German-US relationship had faced “a tough test in the past four years” with fierce Trump criticism of Berlin over trade and military spending.
However, she said, “this friendship is more than a question of which administration is currently in the White House”, saying she dismissed calls in Germany to “decouple ourselves from the United States”. But Kramp-Karrenbauer stressed that regardless of the ultimate outcome of the US vote, Europe would need to become more self-sufficient.
“We will have to do a lot more for our own interests — both as Germany and in particular with the other Europeans,” she said. Finance Minister Olaf Scholz echoed the sentiment, saying that given the developments in the United States, Europe needed to strengthen its own “sovereignty” so that “a rules-based global order can exist. That is why we need to take this opportunity to make Europe strong,” he told reporters in Berlin.