Alleged Comments by Donald Trump about Germany caused a backlash on Friday; Germany is an important ally to the US.
On Thursday, Germany’s Spiegel Online reported that there was a meeting with European Union officials in Brussels where Trump allegedly said, “The Germans are bad, very bad.” He added, “See the millions of cars they are selling in the U.S.? Terrible. We will stop this.”
Different versions of the story
On Friday, the report became popular among the German press and on social media, causing a backlash.
A German industry company reacted and said that Trump’s protective posture would make him “a loser.”
European officials along with Trump’s administration provided contradictory versions of the story of what Trump actually said.
One theory is that poor translation is what caused a backlash. In its German version of the report, Spiegel wrote “böse” which can mean “bad” however it is closer to the English word “evil.” In another story, Süddeutsche Zeitung cited an alike Trump’s quote but interpreted the word he used as “schlecht,” a German word for “bad.”
Later, Spiegel Online tweeted that Trump had used the English word “bad” and not “evil.”
“He didn’t say the Germans are behaving badly,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said. “He said we have a problem, as others do, with the German surplus. So he was not aggressive at all. Bad doesn’t mean evil.”
“He said they’re very bad on trade but he doesn’t have a problem with Germany,” Chief White House Economic Adviser Gary Cohn said. “He said his dad is from Germany. He said, ‘I don’t have a problem with Germany. I have a problem with German trade.’ ”
However, since Trump’s administration didn’t clarify anything, the dispute was still ongoing.