Trump Intensifies Twitter Attacks With Demand for an Apology

July 15, 2019, 5:02 PM UTC

President Donald Trump intensified his attacks on both Twitter and at the White House against four Democratic congresswomen by demanding they apologize a day after he tweeted that the American women should to “go back” to their own countries.

Despite being under fire for comments widely called racist on Sunday, the president tweeted Monday that Democratic Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna S. Pressley owe apologies to him, the U.S., and Israel.

“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,” Trump tweeted. “So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!”

The president also tweeted: “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. I can tell you that they have made Israel feel abandoned by the U.S.”

Ocasio-Cortez fired back, tweeting in response that Trump’s language is the “hallmark language of white supremacists.”

“Trump feels comfortable leading the GOP into outright racism, and that should concern all Americans,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

The president’s series of controversial tweets came some 24 hours after he went on a tirade that the four first-term congresswomen weren’t born in America and said, “they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who recently had been at odds with the congresswomen, including for some unrelated commentary on social media, came to their defense on Twitter Sunday, condemning Trump’s comments.

“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 tweeted.

The four congresswomen quickly responded to the president on Twitter, condemning the tweets.

“You are angry because you can’t conceive of an America that includes us,” said Ocasio-Cortez in a series of tweets. “But you know what’s the rub of it all, Mr. President? 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.”

Trump tweeted late Sunday that it was “so sad” that Democrats were “sticking up for people who speak so badly of our Country and who, in addition, hate Israel with a true and unbridled passion.”

As Trump questioned the citizenship of the four congresswomen, who are all women of color, three were born in the U.S., while Omar is a naturalized American citizen.

The congresswomen have taken Trump to task about his immigration policies as they condemned the conditions of some detention facilities along the U.S.’ southern border. Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib testified last week in front of House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing describing what they saw during a tour of the facilities.

While a majority of Republicans have yet to respond to Trump’s fiery rhetoric, Senator Lindsey Graham said Monday on Fox and Friends that Trump should “aim higher.” Graham also advised Trump to not “get personal” with the attacks on the congresswomen, and “don’t take the bait.”

“Mr. President, you’re right about their policies, you’re right about where they will take the country. Just aim higher,” Graham said.

In an impromptu briefing at the White House, Trump told reporters that he thinks the congresswomen are definitely socialists and “might be” communists as well.

The president also said if any congress members “hate our country,” they can leave. He appeared to take aim at Omar for apparent comments she made about al Qaeda and Ocasio-Cortez for supporting Amazon’s second headquarters not coming to New York.

“See I disagree with Lindsey, these are congresswomen, what am I supposed to do, just wait for senators? No, so I disagree,” Trump said. “[Graham] said to aim higher, shoot higher, what am I going to do, wait until we get someone in a higher position, higher office? These are people that hate our country.”

When asked if he was concerned that his tweets are being called racist and that some white nationalist groups are finding a common cause, Trump said he believes many people agree with his position.

“It doesn’t concern me that some people agree with me. All I’m saying is that if they want to leave, they can leave,” the president said. “I didn’t say leave forever, just leave.”

While Michigan GOP Congressman Fred Upton tweeted Monday that Trump’s tweets are inexcusable, on Capitol Hill, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer later wondered if the silence of many other Republicans in the wake of Trump’s xenophobic tweets is out of embarrassment or agreement.

“Both are inexcusable,” Schumer said. “My Republican friends, he’s not backing off. Where are you when something this serious, this bigoted, this un-American happens?”

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