Doubling down, Trump says liberal Democrats ‘hate Israel with unbridled passion’
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Doubling down, Trump says liberal Democrats ‘hate Israel with unbridled passion’

Defending apparent call for Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Pressley, and Tlaib to ‘go back’ to countries they ‘came from,’ US president says Democrats ‘sticking up’ for Israel haters

US President Donald Trump talks with reporters before departing on Marine One for the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony on May 30, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
US President Donald Trump talks with reporters before departing on Marine One for the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony on May 30, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

US President Donald Trump doubled down Sunday night on his comments assailing a group of Democratic congresswomen of color as foreign-born troublemakers, saying it was “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.”

Defending tweets earlier in the day in which he said that unnamed “‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen” should go back to the “broken and crime infested places from which they came,” Trump said in a new series on tweets that “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!” the president, who will contend against the eventual Democratic nominee, concluded.

Trump, in both sets of tweets, was almost certainly referring to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and her allies in what has become known as the squad. The others are Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. All are American citizens. Only Omar, from Somalia, is foreign-born.

Trump’s tweets drew a sharp rebuke from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said the president wants to “make America white again.” Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, a Trump critic who recently took steps to leave his party, called the remarks “racist and disgusting.”

With his remarks, Trump again inserted himself into a rift between Pelosi and the liberal congresswomen, after offering an unsolicited defense of the Democratic speaker days earlier. Pelosi has been seeking to minimize Ocasio-Cortez’s influence in recent days, prompting Ocasio-Cortez to accuse Pelosi of trying to marginalize women of color.

Pelosi “is not a racist,” Trump said Friday. On Sunday, his tone changed.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat-California, speaks at the Capitol in Washington, June 5, 2019. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

“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,” he said in the original tweets. “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

He added: “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!”

Ocasio-Cortez, who was born in New York, is of Puerto Rican ancestry, while Tlaib, who was born in Detroit, is the first American of Palestinian descent elected to Congress.

Omar, who fled war-torn Somalia as a child and came to the United States as a refugee, is the first black Muslim woman in Congress, and Pressley, who was born in Cincinnati, is the first African American elected to Congress from Massachusetts.

Then Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY., left, walks with Rep.-elect IIhan Omar, D-Minn., right, during a member-elect briefings on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The four hit back at Trump on his favored social media platform.

“I am fighting corruption in OUR country. I do it every day when I hold your admin accountable as a U.S. Congresswoman,” Tlaib tweeted.

“THIS is what racism looks like. WE are what democracy looks like,” Pressley wrote over a screenshot of Trump’s tweets, while Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that Trump is “angry because you can’t conceive of an America that includes us.”

“You are stoking white nationalism bc you are angry that people like us are serving in Congress and fighting against your hate-filled agenda,” Omar wrote on Twitter, saying that as “Members of Congress, the only country we swear an oath to is the United States.”

Agencies contributed to this report.

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