Trump tells congresswomen to ‘go back’ to counties they came from
President Donald Trump was criticized Sunday after he posted tweets his opponents derided as xenophobic and racist for calling on an unspecified group of Democratic congresswomen to “go back” to the counties he says they “originally came” from before trying to make legislative changes in the United States.
“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. 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!” the president said in three connected tweets.
Who are the tweets about?
Many presumed Trump’s tweets were directed at the four liberal freshman congresswomen known as “the Squad”: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib. Three of those four lawmakers were born in the U.S. Omar came to the United States as a refugee from Somalia more than 20 years ago.
Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib and Pressley have been frequent targets by some conservative media figures.
Since taking office in January, Omar has sparked anger with her rhetoric criticizing the Trump and administration and U.S. foreign policy, both past and present. Her remarks about Israel and the influence of the pro-Israeli were condemned as anti-Semitic by both Republicans and Democrats.
Last week, Fox News host Tucker Carlson Omar “living proof that the way we practice immigration has become dangerous to this country.”
Trump’s tweets had echoes of Carlson’s criticisms of Omar, who accused her of not being “grateful” for being welcomed into the U.S. and of instead having “undisguised contempt for the United States and for its people.”
“I believe as an immigrant, I probably love this country more than anyone that is naturally born,” Omar said, while speaking at a Netroots Nation event on Saturday.
Omar said it is because she is “ashamed” that the U.S. continues to “live in its hypocrisy” that she fights to make the U.S. live up to its ideals.
Ryan Saavedra, a reporter for the conservative Daily Wire, also assumed Trump was referring to Omar and took amusement in the president’s tweet.
“LOL, Trump is telling Ilhan Omar to go back to Somalia,” Saavedra said.
The four House members have recently had some public squabbles with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for her support for a bill funding border security measures and comments Pelosi made about their disagreements in a New York Times interview.
Reaction to Trump’s tweets
Pelosi said Sunday that she rejects Trump’s “xenophobic comments meant to divide our nation” and said they reaffirm that “his plan to ‘Make America Great Again’ has always been about making America white again.”
“Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power,” she said.
“Unfortunately, there is an American tradition of telling people to go back where they came from,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“But you don’t expect to hear it from the president of the United States,” said de Blasio, who is one of two dozen Democrats running to unseat Trump in 2020.
De Blasio said that rather than trying to “make America great again,” Trump was trying to “make America hate again” and divide the nation for political gain, which he called “the most unpresidential thing possible.”
The New York mayor tied Trump’s tweets to the deportation raids by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency expected to begin this weekend, saying that “it is all one political strategy, to keep people divided to the maximum extent possible” and “gin up his base.”
Pelosi also made a connection between the tweets and Trump’s immigration policies.
More: Donald Trump defends migrant detention centers, says nothing about ICE raids
“Rather than attack Members of Congress, he should work with us for humane immigration policy that reflects American values. Stop the raids – #FamiliesBelongTogether!” she tweeted.
“That’s a racist tweet,” said Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., when he was informed of the president’s post during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
“Telling people to go back where they came from? These are American citizens elected by voters in the United States of America to serve in one of the most distinguished bodies in the U.S. House of Representatives,” Luján said
More: Ilhan Omar calls Tucker Carlson ‘racist fool’ after he says she proves ‘immigration has become dangerous’
Politico reporter Alex Thompson shared a clip of the hosts on “Fox & Friends” laughing in response to Trump tweets, saying Trump was feeling “very comedic today.”
But many more voices on social media did not find humor in the president’s tweets.