News World Donald Trump angrily renews racist attack on congresswomen

Donald Trump angrily renews racist attack on congresswomen

Donald Trump has accused four congresswomen of "hating" the US. Photo: Getty
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President Donald Trump has sharpened his attack on four nonwhite congresswomen, accusing them of “hating” the United States and insisting that they leave the country if they’re not happy.

At a White House event on Tuesday (Australian time), Mr Trump defiantly defended his earlier tweets which suggested the Democratic lawmakers who make up the so-called “squad” should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”.

He fired up at the “Made in America” products showcase, saying “these are people who in my opinion hate our country.”

“All I’m saying is, if they’re not happy here, they can leave. There will be many people who will be happy,” Mr Trump told reporters, referring to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib.

The event was meant to highlight US manufacturing, with Mr Trump viewing boats, motorcycles and other products that were made in the United States, but his comments about the lawmakers overshadowed the event.

Mr Trump lashed out at Ms Omar, who came to America as a 12-year-old refugee from Somali, describing her as somebody who “hates Israel” and “hates Jews, hates Jews”.

“It’s very simple.

“I mean, I look at the one, I look at Omar. I mean, I don’t know I never met her, I hear the way she talks about al Qaeda,” Mr Trump said.

“Al Qaeda has killed many Americans. She said, ‘you can hold your chest out, you can, when I think of America, huh, when I think of al Qaeda, I can hold my chest out,'” he said.

It is understood that Mr Trump was referencing a 2013 interview whereby she said her college professor’s “shoulders went up” every time he mentioned Al Qaeda in a class on terrorism.

Asked if he was concerned that some people viewed his tweets as racist or that white supremacists had found common cause with him, Mr Trump said it did not.

“It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me,” he said.

The four politicians who have been outspoken critics of Mr Trump are American citizens and three were born in the US. 

Earlier on Tuesday, Mr Trump doubled down in his attacks, asking on Twitter when “the Radical Left Congresswomen” would “apologise 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.

“So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!”

His attack drew a searing condemnation from Democrats who labelled the remarks racist and breathtakingly divisive.

Asked whether Mr Trump’s comments were racist, Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, defended Mr Trump, telling reporters he had been responding to “very specific” comments made by Ms Omar and was not making a “universal statement”.

But Mr Trump didn’t make that distinction in his tweets. He cited “Congresswomen” – an almost-certain reference to the women, who are known as “the squad”.

“I don’t think that the president’s intent any way is racist,” said Mr Short, repeatedly pointing to Mr Trump’s decision to choose Elaine Chao, who was born outside the country, as his transportation secretary.

Even as Mr Short spoke, Mr Trump, who has a long history of making racist remarks, continued to fan the flames, tweeting: “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.”

-with AAP

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