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Tweets 'not at all' racist: Trump

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on July 15, 2019 - Duration: 00:45s

Tweets 'not at all' racist: Trump

President Trump on Monday denied that his tweets about four Democratic congresswomen were racist.

Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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Tweets 'not at all' racist: Trump

Most of U.S. President Donald Trump's fellow Republicans were silent on Monday as he intensified Twitter attacks on four Democratic congresswomen, prompting other Democrats to accuse Trump of racist rhetoric meant to further divide Americans.

Before speaking at a 'Made in America' product showcase on the South Lawn of the White House, Trump denied that his tweets were racist.

"If somebody has a problem with our country, if somebody doesn't want to be in our country, they should leave," Trump said.

The president over the weekend said in a tweet that the four first-term minority congresswomen, known informally in the U.S. Congress as "the squad," should "go back" to the "the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came." On Monday, Trump renewed his attack and called on the congresswomen to apologize to him.

In an aggressive line of attack that could have consequences for Trump as he seeks re-election in 2020, he was seen as appealing to white nationalist Republicans while further risking his standing among moderate swing voters.

"We have a president who is throwing a match on the flame," It inflames the worst of our instincts," Senator Angus King, an independent, said on MSNBC on Monday.

Trump did not mention names in his initial Sunday tweets targeting "'Progressive' Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe." He appeared to reference representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib, who all have been critical of both Trump and current Democratic House leaders.

"Why don't they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came," Trump tweeted.

"Then come back and show us how ... it is done." All four of the congresswomen are U.S. citizens.

Three - Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley and Tlaib - were born in the United States while Omar, a Somali refugee, arrived in Minneapolis in 1997.

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