Germany's Scholz publicly backs Biden over Trump for re-election

U.S. President Biden holds joint news conference with Germany's Chancellor Scholz in Washington

BERLIN (Reuters) -German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday said he prefers U.S. President Joe Biden to his predecessor, Donald Trump, and hoped Biden would be re-elected for a second term in office.

Addressing pupils at a primary school close to Berlin, Scholz accused Trump of being divisive and that he would be bad not only for the United States but also for Germany.

The unusually direct language used by Scholz could reflect how bilateral relations were often strained during the Trump presidency, led at the time by Scholz's predecessor Angela Merkel, when Scholz was finance minister.

Responding to a pupil's question, Scholz said: "I think the current president is better, so I want him to be re-elected."

Biden's many years of public service mean he knows exactly "what you have to do to prevent the world from going to war," Scholz said.

Referring to Trump, Scholz said: "If all people are only against each other, then there cannot be a good future, and that is why the former president certainly stands for a great division in the country."

Recent polls show Biden with an edge over potential Republican challengers Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis as the November 2024 U.S. presidential election draws closer.

Scholz also said that Russia cannot win the war in Ukraine.

(Reporting by Alexander Ratz, Writing by Friederike Heine, Editing by Bartosz Dabrowski and Matthias Williams)