German Chancellor Stands Behind Embattled President

Posted January 4th, 2012 at 1:40 pm (UTC-5)
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday she has confidence in the nation's embattled president, Christian Wulff.

The president is under pressure to resign for alleged attempts to kill a news report on a controversial home loan he received. A spokesman said the chancellor has full confidence that Mr. Wulff will answer all questions completely.

The scandal could reflect poorly on Mrs. Merkel, who pushed for Mr. Wulff's election over a popular opposition candidate in 2010.

Mr. Wulff is reported to have left an angry voicemail message for the editor of the Bild newspaper threatening legal action if he published the story about the home loan.

Reporters from another German newspaper also said he threatened them if they pursued the story.

The $600,000 home loan was given to Mr. Wulff by the wife of a wealthy businessman while Mr. Wulff served as governor of Lower Saxony state.

President Wulff apologized last month for taking the loan, saying he should have disclosed it before becoming president.

Mr. Wulff took office in July 2010 following the resignation of former president Horst Kohler, who left office after making controversial statements about German soldiers abroad.