President Donald Trump left the White House on Monday, headed to the Supreme Court with first lady Melania Trump to pay respects to the late Justice John Paul Stevens. But on the way, he decided to let loose another wave of criticism against the four congresswomen who have been the target of his ire of late.
Referring to Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley as “The Squad,” the president said that the lawmakers — all progressive freshmen and women of color — were “a very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart.”
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“They are pulling the once great Democrat Party far left, and were against humanitarian aid at the Border,” he wrote online minutes after his motorcade departed the White House, “And are now against ICE and Homeland Security. So bad for our Country!”
Trump’s attacks on the congresswomen — which began more than a week ago when the president tweeted that they should “go back” to the countries “from which they came” — fueled a weeklong news cycle focused on his racist rhetoric after he continued to double down on his criticism of the quartet. Amid the widespread condemnation of his “go back” rhetoric, Trump came under additional fire when the crowd at his North Carolina rally last week chanted “send her back” in reference to Omar, a Somali refugee who became a U.S. citizen as a teenager.
The Democrat-controlled House passed a resolution last week condemning the president’s remarks, approving the measure mostly along party lines. Only four Republicans, Reps. Fred Upton of Michigan, Susan Brooks of Indiana, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Will Hurd of Texas joined their Democratic colleagues to condemn the president’s language.
Within 20 minutes of the president’s tweet, he and the first lady entered the Supreme Court’s Great Hall and stood somberly with their heads bowed in front of Stevens’ flag-draped coffin. After a few moments, they walked over to view Stevens’ portrait before silently leaving the chamber.