WASHINGTON (CN) – President Donald Trump on Monday continued his racist Twitter attacks against four Democratic congresswomen he told to go back to where they came from, despite the fact that three were born in the U.S., calling on them to apologize for “the terrible things they have said.”
“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… how our government is to be run,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
Though he didn’t mention them by name, the president’s insults are believed to be directed at a group of freshman Democratic representatives dubbed “the squad” – Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who was born in Somalia but came to the U.S. at age 12 and is now an American citizen; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who is of Puerto Rican descent and was born in the Bronx; Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, a black congresswoman originally from Cincinnati; and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, a Muslim born in Detroit.
The women have long tangled with the Trump administration’s policies on immigration. Last Friday, several of them voiced their concern during a House Oversight Committee hearing about the treatment of immigrants at border detainment facilities in the nation, after a visit to a facility in Clint, Texas, earlier this month.
Tlaib, who fought back tears during her testimony last week, specifically said the charge was not an attack against Trump.
“By allowing us to testify, we aren’t picking on the president,” Tlaib said Friday. “We’re holding the administration accountable. It is a dangerous ideology that rules our nation now.”
After his Sunday tweets drew sharp criticism, Trump continued his attacks into Monday morning, tweeting that many people are angry at the lawmakers.
“When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said. So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!”
He continued, “If Democrats want to unite around the foul language & racist hatred spewed from the mouths and actions of these very unpopular & unrepresentative Congresswomen, it will be interesting to see how it plays out.”
Later Monday morning, the president quoted Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who called Ocasio-Cortez a communist and further attacked the women as anti-American, saying they “hate our own country.”
The day before, Trump had appeared to try to divide the group from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. The president said Pelosi would be happy to work out free travel arrangements to places “that need your help badly,” a dig at the strained relationship between “the squad” and the speaker.
Pelosi condemned the comments as xenophobic.
“When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to ‘Make American Great Again’ has always been about making America white again,” Pelosi tweeted Sunday. “Our diversity is our strength and unity is our power.”
On Monday, Pelosi announced a House resolution to condemn Trump’s remarks. The resolution, sponsored by Congressmen Tom Malinowski, D-N.J., and Jamie Raskin, D-Md., will reference former President Ronald Reagan’s last speech in office, in which he said, “If we ever closed the door to new Americans, our leadership in the world would soon be lost.”
“The House cannot allow the President’s characterization of immigrants to our country to stand. Our Republican colleagues must join us in condemning the President’s xenophobic tweets,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to her colleagues.
She added, “This is simply not who we are as a country. Instead, we should be working in a bipartisan way for comprehensive immigration reform to protect our values as we protect our borders.”
“The squad” fired back at Trump during a Monday afternoon press conference, saying they represent many Americans. Omar and Tlaib called for his impeachment.
No matter what Trump says, the country belongs to the people, Ocasio-Cortez said.
The president responded on Twitter during the press conference, saying the dispute is about patriotism rather than racism.
“We will never be a Socialist or Communist Country. IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY HERE, YOU CAN LEAVE!” he tweeted. “It is your choice, and your choice alone. This is about love for America.”
The congresswomen also responded to the president’s attacks with tweets of their own on Sunday. Ocasio-Cortez said Trump had destroyed the border with inhumane detention facility camps, allowing corporations to profit off of them. The blame for the country’s corruption is laid at his feet, she wrote.
“You are angry because you can’t conceive of an America that includes us. You rely on a frightened America for your plunder,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Sunday. “On top of not accepting an America that elected us, you cannot accept that we don’t fear you, either. You can’t accept that we will call your bluff & offer a positive vision for this country. And that’s what makes you seethe.”
Omar tweeted the only country the representatives swore an oath to is America, which is “why we are fighting to protect it from the worst, most corrupt and inept president we have ever seen.”
“You are stoking white nationalism [because] you are angry that people like us are serving in Congress and fighting against your hate-filled agenda,” Omar wrote.
Pressley condemned the comments as racist in a twitter response of her own.
“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 every day,” she tweeted.