McCarthy, House GOP brass don’t condemn president
WASHINGTON – House Republican leaders declined Tuesday to condemn President Donald Trump’s racist tweets suggesting four minority Democratic congresswomen should “go back” to where they came from.
GOP minority leader Kevin McCarthy of California told reporters he doesn’t consider Trump’s comments racist and slammed Democrats for planning to bring a resolution to the floor later Tuesday condemning the president’s remarks.
“Let’s not be false about what is happening here today,” McCarthy said. “This is all about politics and beliefs of ideologies.
Trump’s remarks – which initially came in a series of tweets on Sunday – have created a political firestorm and have been widely condemned by congressional Democrats and others as racist language that should not be tolerated, especially by the president of the United States.
Although Trump did not specify who he was specifically referring to, many believe he was talking about Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.
Three of those lawmakers were born in the U.S. Omar came to the United States as a refugee from Somalia more than 20 years ago and is a naturalized U.S. citizen.
Omar and Tlaib are the only two Muslim women in the House.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called Trump’s remarks “xenophobic” and said they were meant to divide the nation. The House has scheduled a vote for later Tuesday on a resolution condemning his comments
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Trump took to Twitter again Tuesday to defend himself and slam the upcoming vote.
“I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!” Trump tweeted. “The so-called vote to be taken is a Democrat con game. Republicans should not show ‘weakness’ and fall into their trap.”
In a news conference at the Capitol, GOP leaders also defended Trump and portrayed the upcoming vote as another political attack by Democrats.
Asked if he considered Trump’s remarks racist, McCarthy said “No.”
“I believe this is about ideology,” he said.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said the upcoming vote condemning Trump’s remarks is “one more attempt to personally attack President Trump.”
Scalise accused Omar of making inflammatory false statements about the conditions in detention facilities where migrants who enter the country illegally are held. He also slammed Pressley for refusing to refer to Trump as president.
Republicans “disagreed with Barack Obama on a lot of things he did on policies … but we never disrespected the office,” Scalise said.
House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming insisted GOP opposition to Democrats “has absolutely nothing to do with their gender, with their religion or with their race.”
“It has to do with the content of their policies,” she said.
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More: Trump tells congresswomen to ‘go back’ to the ‘crime infested places from which they came’