News World Trump defiant as lawmakers blast his 'racist' attacks on four congresswomen

Trump defiant as lawmakers blast his ‘racist’ attacks on four congresswomen

President Donald Trump doubled down on his attacks against four minority U.S. congresswomen on Monday and dismissed concerns that his comments were racist, prompting outrage from Democrats, who moved to condemn him in the House of Representatives.

Speaking at the White House, Trump said people he described as critical of the United States should leave the country.

Those remarks followed his Twitter messages on Sunday that said the four left-wing lawmakers, known in Congress as “the squad,” should go back to “the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

All four of the first-term House members are U.S. citizens and all but one were born in the United States.

“If you’re not happy in the U.S., if you’re complaining all the time, very simply: You can leave,” he said, drawing scattered applause from a crowd of businesspeople.

Asked if he was concerned that some viewed his remarks as racist and that white supremacists found common cause with him, Trump said he was not. “It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me,” Trump said.

The president’s remarks were widely derided and some, though not many, of his fellow Republicans spoke out against them.

Trump did not identify the lawmakers by name in his Sunday tweets, but he appeared to refer to representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

All four have been critical of Trump, as well as of the current Democratic leaders of the House, straining party unity in that chamber.

At a press conference on Capitol Hill, the four lawmakers said Trump was trying to sow division and distract attention from what they characterized as failed policies on immigration, healthcare and taxation.

“Weak minds and leaders challenge loyalty to our country in order to avoid challenging and debating the policy,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

Tlaib and Omar repeated their calls for Trump to be impeached.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has been criticized by members of “the squad,” said her party would introduce a resolution condemning Trump’s “xenophobic tweets.”

A draft of the resolution, seen by Reuters late on Monday, said the House “strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of colour …”

Representative Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, told reporters the resolution could be on the House floor for debate as soon as Tuesday.

Such a resolution could put Trump’s fellow Republicans in Congress in an awkward position, forcing them either to vote against their party’s leader, who has strong support among conservatives, or effectively to defend his statements.

Trump’s attacks elevated the profiles of the four progressive Democrats, who have helped push the party’s agenda to the left, causing concern among Democratic moderates who are eager to hold onto their seats in the 2020 election.

A FEW REPUBLICANS SPEAK OUT

Trump has a history of what critics consider race-baiting. He led a movement that falsely claimed former President Barack Obama was not born in the United States, and he said after a deadly, white supremacist-led rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that “both sides” were to blame for violence there.

“This is the agenda of white nationalists, whether it is happening in chat rooms, or it’s happening on national TV, and now it’s reached the White House garden,” Omar said.

Although most Republicans stayed silent on Trump’s divisive rhetoric, several began expressing concern late on Monday.

Texas Representative Will Hurd, the only African-American Republican in the House, called the attacks “racist” on CNN.

Tim Scott, the Senate’s only black Republican, called them “racially offensive” on Twitter.

Others did not go that far. Senator Mitt Romney, the party’s 2012 presidential nominee, and Senator Marco Rubio, who ran in 2016, both condemned the remarks but declined to characterize them as racist.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said the four lawmakers belonged in the United States, but did not criticize Trump. “The president is not a racist,” he told reporters.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell did not comment on the controversy.

Trump regularly used racially charged language during his campaign and continued in his presidency. His latest remarks came as some of his efforts to deal with immigration – a major issue for his conservative base – have faltered.

Trump promised as a candidate to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and that Mexico would pay for it. As president, very little has happened on wall construction and Mexico has resolutely refused to pay for a wall.

‘RACISM, DIVISION’

In his Sunday tweets, Trump said of the four congresswomen, “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came … Then come back and show us how … it is done.”

Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley and Tlaib were born in the United States while Omar, a Somali refugee, arrived in 1992.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a sometime Trump golf partner and adviser, called the four congresswomen “communist” and “anti-Semitic” on Fox News on Monday, but he also called on Trump to stop making such personal attacks.

“Aim higher … Take on their policies. The bottom line here is this is a diverse country,” he said, adding that he had spoken to Trump.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Eight new coronavirus cases detected out of 2,893 tests

The Ministry of Health has announced that 8 new cases of the SARS-CoV-II virus were detected in Cyprus over the past 24 hours out...

Omonia: 60 people to self-isolate due to covid case

Omonia's delegation, that travelled to Athens for the first match with Olympiakos in Faliro in the context of the Champions League playoffs (0-2 defeat),...

Two journalists stabbed near Charlie Hebdo’s old offices – France opens anti-terror probe

France opened an anti-terror investigation after two journalists were stabbed in Paris on Friday near the former offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine...

UK’s Tesco blocks bulk-buying of toilet roll and flour

Britain's biggest supermarket Tesco will prevent customers from bulk-buying flour, pasta, toilet rolls and anti-bacterial wipes to prevent a re-run of the COVID-19 stockpiling...

COVID-19: Average age in Cyprus is 39 (tables)

Here are the infographics, by the Ministry of Health, with statistics on the course of the coronavirus until September 22nd. The average age in...

Taste

Sheftalies

Sheftalies, a very tasty dish from the charcoal grill, are minced meat shaped into small sausages and wrapped in “panna” (suet). Panna is a...

Spicy grilled soutzoukakia

Place all ingredients for soutzoukakia in a bowl and mix well, preferably using a food processor, until well combined. Using the mixture, form cigar-shaped...

Souvlakia

Pork souvlaki: Put the meat and all the other ingredients in a bowl (not metal) and mix well. Cover the bowl and keep in...

Pastelli (Carob Toffee)

The nutritional sweet of Pastelli is made with the syrup of carob pods, produced by boiling their pulp until it forms a thick, sticky...