President Trump unleashed a racist Twitter rant aimed at a group of minority Democratic congresswomen, telling the four American citizens to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” On Sunday night, he went back for more, calling them “disgraceful.”
On Monday morning, facing widespread outrage, he tripled down.
Trump posted two new tweets Monday morning aimed at (but not naming) freshman Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, known in D.C. as “The Squad.”
First, he asked: “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!”
Later, Trump indicated he had an idea about who the real racists were and it definitely was not the guy who told women of color “you can’t leave [the U.S.] fast enough.”
“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,” he tweeted on Monday. “I can tell you that they have made Israel feel abandoned by the U.S.”
Clearly, Trump has no remorse for the racist tweets he posted this week. And while the condemnation has been widespread elsewhere, the response from Republican lawmakers has been crickets.
In Trump’s lengthy, racist rant on Sunday morning, he described the congresswomen as “viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run.”
The response was swift and angry from pretty much anyone who wasn’t a prominent Republican. Omar wrote that Trump is “stoking white nationalism [because he is] angry that people like us are serving in Congress.”
Pressley wrote: “THIS is what racism looks like. WE are what democracy looks like. And we’re not going anywhere.”
Even House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who has been feuding with The Squad over a border funding bill, came to their defense. “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,” she wrote on Twitter.
Democratic 2020 candidates — including Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden — all jumped in to condemn Trump’s posts as racist. A New York Times op-ed declared the tweets proved Trump was a “raging racist.” CNN media reporter Brian Stelter called it “straight-up racist.”
You get the picture: Most everyone agreed the comments were racist and bad. That is, everyone but GOP lawmakers. Senators like Mitt Romney, who has criticized the president for his comments about late Republican Senator John McCain, was silent. Texas Congressman Chip Roy skated about as close to criticism as any GOP figure: he tweeted Trump “was wrong to say any American citizen, whether in Congress or not, has any ‘home’ besides the U.S.”
But the second half of his tweet reiterated his support for the president’s overall message.
“But I just as strongly believe non-citizens who abuse our immigration laws should be sent home immediately, & Reps who refuse to defend America should be sent home 11/2020,” Roy tweeted.
As of Monday morning, no Trump ally or GOP lawmaker had lodged any serious complaint against the president. The closest we got was Fox personality Geraldo Rivera saying that his “friend” Trump was “better than” the “language that’s xenophobic [or] even racist.”
Meanwhile, figures closer to Trump seem to be backing him. Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, claimed to the AP that the comments from the president were aimed at “very specific” comments from Omar.
“I don’t think that the president’s intent any way is racist,” he said.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham went on “Fox and Friends” on Monday morning to chide Trump — and then reiterate his vile message. Graham told Trump he should “aim higher” than attacking congresswomen, but then echoed Trump’s tweets calling the lawmakers anti-Semitic and unpatriotic.
“We all know that AOC and this crowd are a bunch of communists,” Graham said. “They hate Israel, They hate our own country. … They’re anti-Semitic. They’re anti-America.”
Cover: President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, July 12, 2019, before Trump boards Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md. and then on to Wisconsin. Trump says Labor Secretary Alex Acosta to step down, move comes in wake of handling of Jeffrey Epstein case. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)