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Merkel says Trump’s denial of election result shares blame for Capitol storming

German chancellor expresses outrage at attack, says doubts about outcome of US vote ‘stoked’ the atmosphere that led to violence in Washington

German Chancellor Angela Merkel  seen on a screen as she makes a statement on the events in Washington with the storming of the Capitol building by supporters of US President Donald Trump supporters at the beginning of the digital press conference at the winter retreat of the CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Berlin, Germany, January 7, 2021. (Kay Nietfeld/Pool via AP)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel seen on a screen as she makes a statement on the events in Washington with the storming of the Capitol building by supporters of US President Donald Trump supporters at the beginning of the digital press conference at the winter retreat of the CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Berlin, Germany, January 7, 2021. (Kay Nietfeld/Pool via AP)

BERLIN, Germany — German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday she was “furious and saddened” by the storming of the US Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump and said the US president shared blame for the unrest.

“I deeply regret that President Trump has not conceded his defeat, since November and again yesterday,” she said.

“Doubts about the election outcome were stoked and created the atmosphere that made the events of last night possible,” she said, adding that her shock was certainly shared by the “millions of people who admire America’s democratic tradition.”

She welcomed a statement by President-elect Joe Biden as well as “many reactions from both major parties of the US,” which, she said, reassured her “that this democracy will prove to be much stronger than the attackers and rioters.”

She lamented the “tragic” loss of life in the chaotic scenes but said the fact that lawmakers had returned to work overnight was a “sign of hope.”

“Now it is clear with the confirmation of the election victory of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the United States of America will, as it should, in less than two weeks open a new chapter of its democracy,” she said.

“That means the forces of democracy have prevailed — that is something I always knew about the United States and expected,” Merkel said.

Supporters of US President Donald Trump enter the US Capitol, in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021. (Saul LOEB / AFP)

But she warned that the “disturbing” images from the Capitol would be seen “in other places around the world (as) not exactly a badge of good democratic processes.”

“It is thus all the more important that the democrats prevailed,” she said.

After a mob breached the US Capitol and sent lawmakers scrambling for safety Wednesday, shaken members of Congress returned to certify Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College win.

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