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On Sunday morning, President Trump surprised no one when he tweeted out a slew of racist comments seemingly directed at Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar.
In his tweets, he wrote:
“So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly……
….and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. 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. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!”
His mention of Pelosi is most likely due to the Speaker of the House’s recent comments about the “Squad,” the name that’s been given to Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley, Tlaib, and Omar, a group of progressive freshman Democrats. While Pelosi has since ceased talking about her on-going battle with the four, she had called them out in an interview earlier this month, saying, “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world.”
While Trump’s tweet is blatantly racist and horrible, it is also incorrect. Of the four congresswomen he seems to be referring to, only Omar was born outside of the United States. (I guess it could also be read as completely correct if the country he’s referring to is the United States?!) And since his message was sent out, all four of the women have responded.
Ocasio-Cortez originally tweeted a thread about Trump on Sunday, writing, “You are angry because you can’t conceive of an America that includes us. You rely on a frightened America for your plunder. You won’t accept a nation that sees healthcare as a right or education as a #1 priority, especially where we’re the ones fighting for it. Yet here we are.”
Then on Monday morning, she tweeted, “It’s important to note that the President’s words yday, telling four American Congresswomen of color ‘go back to your own country,’ is hallmark language of white supremacists. Trump feels comfortable leading the GOP into outright racism, and that should concern all Americans.”
Omar responded as well, writing to Trump that “as Members of Congress, the only country we swear an oath to is the United States” and calling him the “most corrupt and inept president we have ever seen.” That same day Pressley tweeted screenshots of Trump’s tweets with the caption: “THIS is what racism looks like. WE are what democracy looks like. And we’re not going anywhere. Except back to DC to fight for the families you marginalize and vilify everyday.”
Tlaib tweeted as well, writing that Trump’s “dangerous ideology is the crisis” and that he “needs to be impeached.”
Pelosi, who, as mentioned, was name-checked in the tweets, also made sure to respond. She tweeted, “When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to ‘Make America Great Again’ has always been about making America white again. Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power.”
However, all of the responses only made Trump hit back harder, and he tweeted again on Sunday night:
“So sad to see the Democrats sticking up for people who speak so badly of our Country and who, in addition, hate Israel with a true and unbridled passion. Whenever confronted, they call their adversaries, including Nancy Pelosi, ‘RACIST.’ Their disgusting language…..
….and the many terrible things they say about the United States must not be allowed to go unchallenged. If the Democrat Party wants to continue to condone such disgraceful behavior, then we look even more forward to seeing you at the ballot box in 2020!”
While Trump’s original comments seemed somewhat unprompted, aside from the recent rift between the congresswomen and Pelosi, Matthew Gertz on Twitter pointed out that soon before Trump tweeted, Fox & Friends had run a segment about the “Squad”:
Those on the show then later laughed about Trump’s tweets, calling him “very comedic” and saying that Trump made an “important point.”
Trump was also asked about his comments on Monday, where he said his tweets weren’t racist “at all.” He said, “If somebody has a problem with our country, if somebody doesn’t want to be in our country, they should leave. That’s all.” And when asked which congresswomen he was talking about, he said, “You can guess.”
On Monday, the four congresswomen also held a press conference, where they spoke out against the president:
During the press conference, Omar said, “This is the agenda of white nationalists, whether it is happening in chatrooms or it’s happening on national TV, and now, it’s reached the White House garden. [Trump] would love nothing more than to divide our country based on race, religion, gender, orientation, or immigration status because this is the only way he knows he can prevent the solidarity of us working together across all of our differences.”
The House is also planning to vote on a resolution that would condemn Trump’s comments.
This post will continue to be updated.