Trump doubles down on ‘go back’ tweets amid outrage, calls on ‘Radical’ reps to apologize
Raw video: Democrat freshman lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez delivers opening statement at House Oversight hearing on 'The Trump Administration's Child Separation Policy: Substantiated Allegations of Mistreatment.'
President Trump doubled down Monday after taking heavy fire for inflammatory tweets calling on Democratic congresswomen to "go back" to where they came from -- even though most of his intended targets were born in America -- as he called on those same lawmakers to "apologize" and chastised the party for defending them.
"When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said," Trump tweeted Monday. "So many people are angry at them & their horrible and disgusting actions."
He continued: "If Democrats want to unite around the foul language & racist hatred spewed from the mouths and actions of these very unpopular & unrepresentative Congresswomen, it will be interesting to see how it plays out. I can tell you that they have made Israel feel abandoned by the U.S."
Infighting between the Democratic establishment led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and young progressives led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., effectively paused Sunday when they united to condemn the president's Twitter broadside as racist. The offending tweets had said "Democrat Congresswomen" should go back and fix the "corrupt" and "crime infested places" they came from and then "come back and show us how it's done."
Those women, Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., had recently been at odds with Pelosi, with Ocasio-Cortez accusing the speaker of targeting young women of color in Congress with dismissive comments she made in a New York Times interview.
But Pelosi came to their defense after Trump's tweets.
"When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to 'Make America Great Again' has always been about making America white again," she tweeted Sunday. "Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power."
Ocasio-Cortez also wrote: "Mr. President, the country I 'come from,' & the country we all swear to, is the United States. But given how you’ve destroyed our border with inhumane camps, all at a benefit to you & the corps who profit off them, you are absolutely right about the corruption laid at your feet."
Of the four freshmen, only Omar was born outside the United States.
Trump appeared unbowed Sunday night, suggesting it was "so sad" to see Democrats sticking up for the lawmakers.
"So sad to see the Democrats sticking up for people who speak so badly of our Country and who, in addition, hate Israel with a true and unbridled passion. Whenever confronted, they call their adversaries, including Nancy Pelosi, 'RACIST,'" Trump tweeted. "Their disgusting language... and the many terrible things they say about the United States must not be allowed to go unchallenged."
He continued, "If the Democrat Party wants to continue to condone such disgraceful behavior, then we look even more forward to seeing you at the ballot box in 2020!"
Trump's mentions of Israel are likely in reference to multiple comments made by Omar, who was chastised by Republicans for tweeting messages with anti-Semitic tropes. The "disgusting language" may have been referring to Tlaib, who said upon taking office, "We're going to impeach the motherf-----."
Fox News' Frank Miles contributed to this report.