Siemens President and CEO Joe Kaeser, one of Europe’s top business leaders, bashed President Donald Trump for allowing “the most important political office in the world” to become the “face of racism and exclusion.”
The head of Siemens, a major energy and manufacturing conglomerate headquartered in Munich, Germany, was responding to a tweet Saturday by Ruprecht Polenz, a former member of the German parliament.
In his tweet, Polenz shared a story about Trump’s rally in Greenville, North Carolina, last week in which the crowd chanted “send her back,” in reference to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). Trump targeted Omar and three other Democratic congresswomen of color in a racist tirade on Twitter earlier this month in which he suggested they “go back” to other countries.
“It depresses me that the most important political office in the world is becoming the face of racism and exclusion,” Kaeser wrote in response to Polenz. “I lived in the U.S. for many years and experienced freedom, tolerance and openness like never before.”
Polenz replied, “But the current president has the opposite in mind, when he speaks of ‘America First’ or ‘Make American Great Again.’”
Kaeser’s comment marks one of the sharpest condemnations of Trump’s behavior by a global business leader. The president’s vitriolic attacks on Omar and the other three freshman lawmakers ― Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) ― have been widely condemned by Democrats and various world leaders.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she feels “solidarity” toward the progressive congresswomen attacked by Trump and said the president’s comments “go against what makes America great.”
The White House did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
HuffPost’s Tom Biegeleisen contributed reporting.