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Although he was roundly condemned as openly racist for tweets suggesting that a group of non-white congresswomen “go back to their own countries,” Trump only fueled the fire with more such messages Monday.
The controversy began Sunday when Trump injected himself into a Democratic feud between a group of first-year progressive House Democrats and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. However, he did so with tweets many worldwide considered openly racist.
Trump told the women to “go back to their countries.” Only one of whom–Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota–was not born in the United States. She arrived as a refugee in childhood.
Although Trump received worldwide condemnation, he followed up with a demand that the lawmakers be the ones to apologize.
Democratic presidential candidates, such as Andrew Yang and Bernie Sanders, defended the lawmakers.
“As a son of immigrants myself, I know when someone says to go home in my case I was born in upstate New York, it’s the opposite of what we need from our president to try to call out these false distinctions between different types of people,” said Yang. “We’re all Americans. These are members of Congress born in this country this is the opposite of whast president should be saying.”
Sanders praised the work of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and her colleagues for the work that they are doing.
“And what Alexandria and other young women and women of color are saying, ‘We have got to reach out to young people. We have got to heal the pain of the working class of this country.’ And that is causing some political disruption within the leadership of the Democratic Party. And let me give you one example where I am very concerned. I have helped lead the effort to expand community health centers in this country. Right now there’s legislation in the house, the democratic house, to cut community health centers by 20 percent. Unacceptable.
“So I support Alexandria’s and the other women’s desire to bring more people, especially young people, working class people, into the Democratic Party,” he added. “That is the future of the Democratic Party.”
A prominent Never Trumper Republican strongly denounced the president’s tweets as racist and called on other Republicans to do the same.
“Look, Republicans have neglected their responsibility when it comes to Donald Trump for three years now, and I don’t think that will change because of this horrible tweet. But frankly, Republicans should be speaking out against this,” said Ana Navarro. “Republicans should be calling this what it is. Call a spade a spade. Call a racist a racist. The problem is that they’ve enabled this racist for far too long, they’ve justified this racist for far too long. They’ve kissed his ring far too long. They are afraid of this racist. So they just look the other way and play dumb, but it really is a very bad look for the entire Republican Party.
“Kamala Harris is right. I can tell you I get it all the time, ‘Go back to your country.’ Well, I’ve got news for Donald Trump and all of his supporters who feel the same way. This is our country!” Navarro added. “It is our country as much as it is Trump’s country. If we’re going to start sending people back, I don’t know. Listen, Ted Cruz was born in Canada. Marco Rubio’s parents were born in Cuba. Melania Trump was born where, Slovenia? How about her parents who are here through family immigration?
“I’m sick of this guy’s hypocrisy and his ways of dividing this country, pitting people against each other,” she said. “And I think it is no coincidence, It is no coincidence that the congresspeople he is picking on are all women of color. Are all women of color!”