President Donald Trump doubled down Monday on controversial remarks he made about four freshmen Democrat congresswomen and sparred with a member of the press.
Trump was widely criticized after a Sunday tweet in which he suggested that progressive Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
Three of the four congresswomen were born in the United States. Only Omar was born abroad, in Somalia. She came to the United States with her family as a child, where they were granted asylum.
But on Monday, Trump told the press he was tired of people “complaining.”
“If you’re not happy in the U.S., if you’re complaining all the time: Leave,” he said. “It’s very simple.”
The president dismissed those who criticized his weekend remarks as racist, and insinuated Omar was sympathetic to terrorist group al-Qaida.
“I mean I look at the one, I look at Omar, I don’t know her, I never met her. I hear the way she talks about al-Qaida. Al-Qaida has killed many Americans. She said you could hold your chest out,” Trump said. “When I think of America, huh. When I think of al-Qaida, I can hold my chest out. When she talked about the World Trade Center being knocked down, some people, you remember some people. These are people that in my opinion hate our country.”
At one point, Trump clashed with CNN’s Kaitlan Collins.
“Quiet. Quiet. Quiet,” he said as Collins attempted to ask a question in the middle of Trump’s speech.
The president also referenced Ocasio-Cortez’s scuttling of a deal that would have brought a second Amazon headquarters to New York City.
“If the Democrats want to wrap their bows around this group of four people, one of them kept Amazon out of New York,” he said. “Tens of thousands of jobs, would have been a great thing. She kept Amazon from going — it would have been a good deal. Could he have made better? Maybe. But tens of thousands of jobs. And New York has not been the same since that happened. It’s really hurt New York, and New York City.”
Trump’s controversial tweets from the weekend
In the offending tweets, Trump said: “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.”
“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” he continued. “Then come back and show us how it is done. 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!”
….and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019
In a Monday morning response on Twitter, Ocasio-Cortez accused the president of using the “language of white supremacists.”
“It’s important to note that the President’s words today, telling four American Congresswomen of color ‘go back to your own country,’ is hallmark language of white supremacists,” she said. “Trump feels comfortable leading the GOP into outright racism, and that should concern all Americans.”
But Trump remained defiant.
“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,” he tweeted. “So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!”
Later in the day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Democrats were drafting a resolution to condemn Trump’s comments.