Lara Trump, President Trump’s daughter-in-law and a senior adviser to his reelection campaign, said Thursday that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to admit refugees was “one of the worst things that ever happened to Germany.”
In an appearance on Fox Business Network on Thursday morning, Lara Trump was asked by host Stuart Varney about the wave of migrants who have made their way to Germany in recent years. In 2015, the chancellor welcomed more than 1 million migrants to Germany, many of them fleeing war and poverty.
“Angela Merkel let them in. Open borders. Let them in. Catastrophic,” Varney said.
Trump replied that the move “was the downfall of Germany.”
“It was one of the worst things that ever happened to Germany,” she said. “This president knows that. He’s trying to prevent that from happening here.”
Trump’s comments prompted derision online, with many noting that Germany fought in two world wars and took years to recover from Nazi rule.
The recent influx of migrants has caused some political turbulence for Merkel. But President Trump has gone so far as to say that it has thrown Europe into chaos, though there is little to substantiate such a claim.
“For those who want and advocate for illegal immigration, just take a good look at what has happened to Europe over the last 5 years!” he tweeted last year. “A total mess! They only wish they had that decision to make over again.”
In another tweet last year, he argued that it was a “big mistake” for Germany and other European countries to have let in people who “have so strongly and violently changed their culture!”
Reported crime was down 10 percent in Germany in 2017, according to government statistics, the lowest figure since 1992.
In addition, according to a study released in February by the Bertelsmann Foundation, Germany will need about 146,000 new migrants from outside the European Union each year to replenish its labor force because of the country’s aging population.
Adam Taylor contributed to this report.