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Trump tells progressive freshman congresswomen to 'go back' to their 'broken and crime infested' countries

Kadia Tubman
Reporter

President Trump, in a Sunday Twitter thread, called out Democratic Congresswomen, saying, “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

“So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run,” Trump tweeted.

“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” his thread continued. “Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!”

The nativist rhetoric, “go back to your country,” is often used in racist, xenophobic and Islamophobic attacks, including a recent hate crime in New York City last week in which a Hispanic woman was attacked and told, “You’re here taking jobs from Americans.”

President Trump (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images); Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. (Photo: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Trump’s tweets further stirred an ongoing, racially tinged feud between House progressives and the Democratic establishment.

Tensions in the Democratic party escalated after House Speaker Pelosi slighted the influence of four freshman House Democrats who were the only lawmakers to vote against her border aid bill, which was eventually ditched for a Republican-backed Senate version of the bill that passed 305-102.

"All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world,” Pelosi told the New York Times, referring to the “squad” of young House progressives. But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people, and that’s how many votes they got."

The four progressives included Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. The women were all born in the United States, except for Omar, who became a refugee in 1991 when a brutal civil war devastated Somalia, a predominantly Muslim country in East Africa, where a terrorist attack Saturday killed 27 people, including at least one American.

Omar became a U.S. citizen in 2000, and after the 2018 midterm elections, became the first-ever Somali-American in Congress and the first hijab-wearing Muslim member of the House, where she is the whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Since being elected, the Minnesota congresswoman has faced fierce opposition over her controversial statements about Israel and has received hundreds of death threats.

When Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson launched nativist attacks against Omar, accusing her of holding “undisguised contempt for the United States and its people,” she tweeted, “Not gonna lie, it’s kinda fun watching a racist fool like this weeping about my presence in Congress.”

“They will just have to get used to calling me Congresswoman!” she added.

Trump last week weighed in on the tensions between Pelosi and progressive reps like Omar, telling reporters at the White House, “If one-half of the things they're saying about her are true, she shouldn't be in office."

Democratic Socialist Ocasio-Cortez accused the leader of the Democratic Party of “singling out” women of color.

“When these comments first started, I kind of thought that she was keeping the progressive flank at more of an arm’s distance in order to protect more moderate members, which I understood,” Ocasio-Cortez told The Washington Post. “But the persistent singling out ... it got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful ... the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.”

Trump defended Pelosi, saying, “I'll tell you something about Nancy Pelosi that you know better than I do: She is not a racist.”

“For them to call her a racist is a disgrace,” he added.

Pelosi rejected Trump’s “xenophobic comments meant to divide our nation,” and defended the women in her camp, saying “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.”

“Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power,” she added.

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