Well, it's come to this: The president basically just used the old reliable schoolyard taunt "I know you are but what am I" against the Squad.
After a week of repeated attacks starting with him tweeting a racist phrase at the four freshman congresswomen — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib — Trump is now slapping the label on his detractors.
“The ‘Squad’ is a very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart,” Trump wrote in a Monday morning tweet. (Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest of the group at 29; Pressley is the oldest at 45.) “They are pulling the once great Democrat Party far left, and were against humanitarian aid at the Border...And are now against ICE and Homeland Security. So bad for our Country!”
The comments come after Trump controversially tweeted last week that the women — all women of color and all U.S. citizens — should “go back” to their home countries, forcing divided Democratic leadership to jump to the so-called Squad's defense and condemn Trump’s racism.
His Monday tweet — apparently written either at or on the way to the late Justice John Paul Stevens’ memorial — isn’t the first time Trump has accused the progressive lawmakers of racism. He’s repeatedly alleged, without proof, that Omar is anti-Semitic. He claimed last week, again without proof, that all four women used the phrase “evil Jews.”
Apart from contributing to his efforts to keep the Squad in the news, Monday’s tweet appeared to be another attempt to paint the four congresswomen as the face of the Democratic Party.
In a news conference last week addressing the "go back to where you came from" tweet, Pressley, Ocasio-Cortez, Omar and Tlaib fought back and said Trump’s attacks on them were simply a distraction.
But Trump kept up the "distraction" all last week, repeatedly defending the racist tweet and then attacking the women individually at a campaign rally in North Carolina, while his supporters chanted “Send her back!” Trump said he didn’t condone the chant, even though it echoed his own phrase.
“I don’t believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country, Trump wrote in a tweet Sunday. “They should apologize to America (and Israel) for the horrible (hateful) things they have said. They are destroying the Democrat Party, but are weak & insecure people who can never destroy our great Nation!”
Trump’s approval ratings went up by 5 percentage points among Republicans — to about 72% — after his first racist tweet against the congresswomen, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.
Cover: President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media before boarding Marine One helicopter on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, for the short flight to nearby Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Friday, July 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)