By Amara Iqbal
US President Donald Trump used racist language in an attack on four Democratic congresswomen on Sunday.
In a series of tweets, Trump accused them of “hating our country” and that they should “go back” to their countries despite three being US born.
Trump’s targets were Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York, Ayanna Pressley from Massachusetts, Rashida Tlaib from Michigan and Ilhan Omar from Minnesota, who is the only one that is Somali-born.
The cause of these accusations was that on Friday, Ms Ocasio-Cortez, Ms Tlaib and Ms Pressley had testified to the House Oversight Committee about the conditions in the migrant detention centres they had visited.
Democrats had accused Trump’s administration on border control that they were holding migrants under inhumane conditions.
After the testimony, Trump told reporters on Monday outside the White House: “If you are not happy, if you are complaining all the time, you can leave.”
He added: “As far as I’m concerned if you hate our country if you’re not happy here, you can leave. You can leave right now. I don’t know who’s going to miss ‘em,”
Trump was asked by reporters if his tweets seemed “racist”. He responded: “It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me.”
Trump further falsely accused Ms Omar of being an al-Qaeda supporter saying she “hates Israel” and “hates Jews.” He said: “I don’t know, I never met her, I hear the way she talks about al-Qaeda.”
It is unclear what Mr Trump is referring to but he may be referencing an interview from 2013, where Ms Omar discussed in her class on terrorism, that every time her college professor would mention al-Qaeda his “shoulders went up.”
The Four Democratic Congresswomen’s Response
The four congresswomen responded to the attack on Monday afternoon in a joint news conference, describing Trump as “blatantly racist”, assaulting them for nothing and creating a distraction from his corrupt administration and inhumane policies.
Ocasio-Cortez said: “This president operates in complete bad faith, he does not know how to defend his policies, so instead he attacks us personally. That’s what this is all about.”
Ms Omar said she would not respond to Trump’s “ridiculous claims”.
“It’s beyond time to ask Muslims to condemn terrorists,” she said.
Omar stated it was a “complete hypocrisy” for the president to criticise his own polices about leaving the country. “When people say, ‘If you say a negative thing about the policies in this country, you hate this country,’ to me it sorts of speaks to the hypocrisy,” she said.
“When this president ran and until today, he talked about everything that was wrong in this country and how he was going to make it great. For him to condemn us, and to say we are un-American for wanting to work hard to make this country be the country we all deserve to live in, it’s complete hypocrisy.”
Tlaib said: “Sadly, this is not the first, nor will it be the last time that we hear disgusting, bigoted language from the president. We know this is who he is.”
Shortly after the press conference, Mr Trump tweeted, “IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY HERE, YOU CAN LEAVE.”
What was the reaction of world leaders?
Several world leaders who are allies with the US went against the President. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said they, “completely and utterly” disagreed with Mr Trump.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau further stated in a press conference, “That is not how we do things in Canada. A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.”
Prime Minister Theresa May called Mr Trump’s attack “completely unacceptable.”
Furthermore, both candidates for the British premiership were critical. Jeremy Hunt said he was “utterly appalled” by Trump’s tweet, while Boris Johnson said, “you simply cannot use that kind of language about sending people back to where they come from.”
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