US election: German defence minister calls the situation ‘explosive’ after Trump false victory claims

Jill Petzinger
·Germany Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
·3 min read
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 4: President Donald J. Trump speaks during an election event in the East Room at the White House in the early morning hours on November 4, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
President Donald Trump speaks during an election event at the White House. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

German politicians have reacted with alarm in the wake of Donald Trump’s false claim on Wednesday morning that he had won the US presidential election.

Speaking to public broadcaster ZDF, German federal defence minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said that the “battle for the legitimacy of the result” had now begun.

“This is a very explosive situation,” Kramp-Karrenbauer said. She said the constitutional crisis in the US that had been predicted by experts “is something that must certainly worry us very much overall.”

Trump said in a press conference on Wednesday morning that “Frankly, we did win this election.” He also made false allegations of voter “fraud,” and vowed to go to the US supreme court to contest the election results. He also demanded that vote counting, which is still in progress, be immediately stopped.

READ MORE: Trump now favourite to win after complete turnaround in betting

Ahead of a meeting of EU finance ministers, the German finance minister and vice-chancellor Olaf Scholz stressed that a complete count of all the votes “must happen” so that each and every citizen can influence the result.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert repeatedly refused to comment on the election at a press conference in Berlin today. “There is no final result yet, and therefore the federal government has not comment,” he said.

Free Democrat leader Christian Lindner said in an interview with German newspaper Bild on Wednesday that it was “shocking” to see Trump “accusing his competitor of stealing the election.”

“This is very bad news for the stability of the USA and thus also for the stability of the world as a whole,” Lindner said,

The German media front pages on Wednesday morning are likewise dominated by Trump’s false claims of victory.

'Trump claims victory - even though the result is not certain' says Der Spiegel's website on 4 November. Credit: Der Spiegel.
'Trump claims victory — even though the result is not certain' says German news magazine Der Spiegel's website on 4 November. Photo: Der Spiegel.

Gregor Gysi, foreign policy spokesman for the Left in the German federal parliament, said that Trump's actions were undemocratic and that it would be disastrous if the US election was decided not by the voters but by the Supreme Court.

READ MORE: A Biden victory 'won't solve Europe's problems'

Manfred Weber, chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, called the situation serious, but told German public radio that we must wait for developments in the next few hours.

Germany, like the rest of the world, is avidly waiting for the outcome of the US election. Formerly a strong US ally, Europe’s largest economy has frequently borne the brunt of Trump’s ire over the past four years, as he slammed Berlin for issues such as its NATO contributions and its Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project with Russia.

Jana Puglierin from the European Council of Foreign Relations said last week that “from a German perspective, in the last four years we haven’t had a partner in the White House.”

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