New Zealand premier joins chorus condemning Trump over tweets
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New Zealand premier joins chorus condemning Trump over tweets

Jacinda Ardern says she ‘completely and utterly’ disagrees with US president’s comments telling congresswomen of color to return to the countries they came from

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meets members of the Muslim community following the national remembrance service for the victims of the March 15 mosques terrorist attack in Hagley Park, Christchurch, New Zealand,  March 29, 2019. (Mark Tantrum/New Zealand Government via AP)
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meets members of the Muslim community following the national remembrance service for the victims of the March 15 mosques terrorist attack in Hagley Park, Christchurch, New Zealand, March 29, 2019. (Mark Tantrum/New Zealand Government via AP)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday joined international condemnation of US President Donald Trump’s xenophobic tweets about progressive Democrat congresswomen.

Ardern, the charismatic young leader who has been hailed as “the anti-Trump” by US media, said she proudly celebrated her country’s diversity.

“Usually I don’t get into other people’s politics, but it will be clear to most people that I completely and utterly disagree with him,” Ardern told Radio New Zealand.

Trump on Sunday urged a group of four Democratic congresswomen of color — three of them US-born — to “go back” to the countries they came from, then renewed his attack on them a day later.

“If you’re not happy here, you can leave… This is about love for America, certain people hate our country,” he tweeted.

Students and members of the public walk in the “March for Love” following twin mosque attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 23, 2019. (AP/Mark Baker)

Ardern said New Zealanders welcomed diversity in the corridors of power.

“We take the view that our parliament should be a representative place, it should look and feel like New Zealand, it should have a range of different cultures and ethnicities,” she said.

“And never should a judgement be made about the origin of anyone, and their right, therefore, to be in parliament as a representative.”

US President Donald Trump speaks on the US-Canada-Mexico trade agreement at Derco Aerospace Inc. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 12, 2019. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP)

British Prime Minister Theresa May and Canadian leader Justin Trudeau have also condemned the tweets, while Democratic presidential candidates have labelled Trump racist.

Ardern has not been shy about highlighting her differences with Trump in the past, advising him to send “sympathy and love to all Muslim communities” in the wake of the Christchurch mosques massacre in March when a gunman killed 51 worshipers.

Shortly after Ardern’s stunning election win in late 2017, Trump met her at a summit in Vietnam and joked she had “caused a lot of upset in her country.”

“You know, no one marched when I was elected,” she retorted, referring to the protests that followed Trump’s victory in 2016.

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