Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claimed Saturday to know exactly what President Donald Trump was thinking when his supporters chanted “Send her back!” at a recent rally.
Speaking to constituents at a school in Queens, the New York Democrat accused Trump of lying when he suggested that he tried to stop the chant at the event in North Carolina on Wednesday. She claimed that the president had in fact “relished” the moment.
“He said, ‘Oh I stopped it immediately,'” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Roll the tape, he didn’t; he kind of presided over the situation, he relished it, he took it in and he’s doing this intentionally.”
Footage of the event shows the crowd shouting “Send her back!” after Trump criticizes Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat, along with Ocasio-Cortez and Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. The president pauses for about 13 seconds for the chant to die down before resuming his speech.
‘Send Her Back’ and ‘Incredible Patriots’
On Friday, Trump renewed his criticism of the progressive freshmen lawmakers, accusing them of saying “horrible” things about the United States. He hit back at those who deemed him racist for tweeting last Sunday that they should “leave the United States” if they are unhappy with the country.After saying on Thursday that he disagreed with the chant at his rally, Trump also called the crowd members “incredible patriots.”
Ocasio-Cortez complained Saturday that Trump’s comments had been hurtful. But, she added, “men like him” have been telling women like her to go back to their own country for a long time.“We’re gonna stay right here, that’s where we’re gonna go,” she said to applause. “We’re not going anywhere.”
Democrats have condemned the president’s attacks on the four congresswomen “of color” as racist. But many Republicans have argued that he had a point about their radicalism and lack of appreciation for the country.
All the lawmakers are U.S. citizens, and only Omar was born abroad. She came to the United States as a refugee from Somalia when she was a girl.
The women have routinely dismissed criticism of them as bigoted, whether from Speaker Nancy Pelosi or Trump. Ocasio-Cortez in particular has made a practice of ascribing nefarious motives to those who disagree with her, often with little or no evidence to support her claims.
“Calling out” alleged bigotry and oppression has become a common tactic on the social justice left. Sympathetic observers have defended the practice as a form of activism and downplayed misfires. However, many conservatives have warned that it is a symptom of identity politics run amok.
- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., speaks at a town hall in Queens, New York, on April 27, 2019.: YouTube