July 15 (UPI) — Four congresswomen President Donald Trump targeted in a series of tweets over the weekend described his comments as a “blatantly racist” distraction Monday.
Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts held a press conference in response to Trump’s tweets on Sunday calling for them to “go back and help fix the totally broken crime infested places from which they came.”
Pressley described the comments as the “most recent xenophobic, bigoted remarks from the occupant of our White House,” refusing to refer to Trump as the president. She urged the American people to not “take the bait.”
“This is a disruptive distraction from the issues of care, concern and consequence to the American people,” she said.
She added the congresswomen want to return their focus to the “business of American people,” by addressing issues such as family separation at the border, prescription drug prices, gun control and the racial wage gap.
“This is the agenda of white nationalists, whether it is happening in chat rooms or happening on national TV and now it’s reached the White House garden,” she said.
Ocasio-Cortez said she was “not surprised” by Trump’s comments in light of his immigration policies, including recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids on more than 2,000 undocumented immigrants.
“The president operates in complete bad faith, he does not operate in good faith” she said. “Weak minds and leaders challenge loyalty to our country in order to avoid challenging and debating the policy.”
Tlaib and Omar both called for Trump to be impeached.
“Sadly, this is not the first, nor will it be the last time that we hear disgusting, bigoted language from the president. We know this is who he is,” Tlaib said.
Omar described Trump’s comments as “blatantly racist” and an attempt to distract from his policies and divide the nation.
Omar added that she would “not dignify” Trump’s accusation on Monday — that she supports al-Qaida — with a response.
“I know that every single Islamaphobe, every single person who is hateful, who is driven by an ideology of othering — as this president is — rejoices in us responding to that and us defending ourselves,” she said.
“We are no longer going to allow the dignification of such ridiculous … ridiculous statements.”
Though Trump didn’t name the women in his series of three tweets Sunday, it’s largely believed he was referring to the four women who are self-described progressives.
“I know interesting to see ‘Progressives’ Democrat Congresswomen, who came from countries whose governments are complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and everywhere 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,” Trump tweeted.
“Why don’t they go back and help fix the broken and 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!”
Trump defended his tweets during a Made in America event Monday.
“These are people that in my opinion hate our country,” he said, adding that it didn’t concern him that white nationalists are supporting his words.
“It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me,” Trump said.