President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday that four congresswomen, all people of color ― Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), known colloquially as “the Squad” ― are “a very Racist group of troublemakers.” The hypocritical tweet comes after a week of Trump’s repeated, racist comments about the congresswomen.
After calling them “young, inexperienced, and not very smart,” Trump accused the women of pulling the “once great Democrat Party” farther to the left. He also said they were against humanitarian aid at the border, despite three of the four lawmakers testifying before Congress about the unhealthy conditions in detention centers and advocating for better treatment of migrants.
He also brought up the so-called Squad’s calls to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security, a position that Ocasio-Cortez said is “really not that radical” in a tweet earlier this month. She said lawmakers at the time had concerns that DHS would become “a ticking time bomb” for the erosion of civil liberties and abuses of power.
Trump’s statements were retweeted by the official White House Twitter.
Other Democrats came to the lawmakers’ defense after Trump’s tweet on Monday. Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.) retweeted Trump’s statement, calling it “False.” The Congressional Hispanic Caucus tweeted that the four lawmakers are experienced, intelligent and were elected to fight ”#ForThePeople.”
The public ― and virtual ― fight between the president and the four Democratic congresswomen started after Trump criticized them in a tweet and told them to “go back” to the “totally broken and crime-infested” countries they came from, despite all of the lawmakers being American citizens.
Trump said his tweets were “not racist” on Tuesday, but House Democrats disagreed. They decided to support the congresswomen and voted for a resolution to officially condemn his statements later that day. Republicans called out the resolution as a technical violation of House rules. It passed anyway, with four Republicans joining Democrats for a 240-187 vote.
This has been updated with additional information.
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