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Donald Trump won’t back off his racist attacks on “The Squad.”
The president went on yet another rant about the four Democratic congresswomen whom he’s repeatedly singled out over the last few days. During an off-the-cuff press conference Monday, he went off on Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley — all progressive Democratic women of color in their first term, known as “The Squad.” The president accused them of “always complaining” and singled out Omar — one of two Muslim women currently in Congress — as preferring al-Qaeda to the United States.
“As far as I’m concerned, if you’re not happy here, you can leave,” Trump said. “They hate our country, I think, with a passion.”
Monday’s aggressive press conference comes after a series of tweets over the weekend in which Trump told the four lawmakers to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
“When I think of al-Qaeda, I can hold my chest out,” Trump, during the presser, claimed Omar had said. (She didn’t.)
“I’m sure there are many people that won’t miss them, but they have to love our country; they’re Congresspeople,” he added.
The president took particular aim at Omar on Monday: “In one case, you have somebody who comes from Somalia, which is a failed government, a failed state, who left Somalia, who ultimately came here, and now is a congresswoman who’s never happy,” he said. “Hates Israel, hates Jews, it’s very simple.”
Of the four Democratic lawmakers, the only one born abroad is Rep. Ilhan Omar, but she’s lived in the U.S. since she was 12. She’s one of the first Muslim women to serve in Congress and has been subject to racist attacks and repeatedly called anti-Semitic over her vocal criticism of Israel.
Trump also cited his ally in Congress, Sen. Lindsey Graham, who made an appearance on "Fox & Friends" Monday morning where he accused the Squad of being communists.
"We all know AOC and this crowd are a bunch of communists, they hate Israel,” Graham said. Trump, for his part, said at Monday’s presser that “they’re socialists definitely. As to whether or not they’re communists, I would think they might be.”
A reporter also asked Trump whether he’s concerned that white nationalists are finding common cause with his tweets about how they should leave the country.
“It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me, and all I’m saying is, if they want to leave, they can leave,” Trump responded.
Trump’s comments do appear to be uniting disparate camps within the Democratic Party. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — who’s also been feuding with The Squad over immigration policy — came to the four lawmakers’ defense after Trump’s weekend tweet.
“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,” Pelosi tweeted.
Trump, during Monday’s press conference, insisted Pelosi was the racist one, for using the phrase “Make America white again.”
Cover: President Donald Trump speaks during a Made in America showcase event on the South Lawn of the White House, Monday, July 15, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)