Donald Trump used racist language on Sunday to attack four progressive Democratic congresswomen, telling them to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came”.
The US president did not name his targets, but the attack was directed at a group of liberal congresswoman who have had a run-in with the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and who are sometimes referred to as the “squad”: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.
Only Omar, who is from Somalia, was not born in America. Pressley is African American, Tlaib was born to Palestinian immigrants and Ocasio-Cortez comes from a New York-Puerto Rican family.
Tlaib responded by saying Trump “needs to be impeached”. Ocasio-Cortez said: “The country I ‘come from’, and the country we all swear to, is the United States.”
Omar called Trump “the worst, most corrupt and inept president we have ever seen”. Pressley said: “This is what racism looks like. We are what democracy looks like.”
Bernie Sanders was among others who called the attack racist. “When I call the president a racist, this is what I’m talking about,” the Vermont senator wrote on Twitter.
Justin Amash, a Michigan congressman who left the Republican party over his opposition to Trump, called the remarks “racist and disgusting”.
Trump responded to the outcry on Twitter on Sunday evening, saying it was “sad to see the Democrats sticking up for people who speak so badly of our country”.
….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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2019