President Donald Trump continued his attack on four progressive congresswomen of color during a rally in North Carolina on Wednesday, drawing jeers from supporters and chants of “send her back” as he mentioned their names.
Trump ran through a litany of criticism aimed at the four women, accusing them of “helping to fuel the rise of a dangerous, militant hard left.” He called out the four members of the “Squad” by name, highlighting past statements they have made criticizing the president and his administration’s immigration policies.
“If they don’t like it, let them leave,” Trump told the crowd. “I think in some cases they hate our country.”
At one point, referring to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Trump said he would call her simply “Cortez,” adding that “I don’t have time to go with three different names.”
Trump’s remarks ratcheted up an attack he began last weekend in which encouraged the women to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” The four women are all U.S. citizens and three were born in the U.S.
The president left for the rally shortly after the House blocked a resolution to impeach him for his attack on four progressive congresswomen of color, which Democrats and four Republicans voted to formally condemn as racist a day earlier. The president attacked the vote, but repeatedly praised the Democrats who oppose the effort.
Referring to “the resolution – how stupid is that – on impeachment,” Trump told supporters that the vote was a “disgrace.”
The president has doubled down on his attacks on the congresswomen in recent days and told reporters Wednesday as he left the White House that he’s “enjoying” the fight. The rally, which took place in a state Trump won in 2016, offered the president an opportunity to frame the controversy in the context of his reelection.
In an illustration of the partisan divide over issues of patriotism and race, a USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll on Wednesday found that a clear majority of Americans say Trump’s tweets targeting the congresswomen were “un-American.” Most Republicans, however, said they agreed with his comments.
Trump’s initial tweets over the weekend were widely viewed as being directed at “The Squad” – Ocasio-Cortez; Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.; Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.; and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. During the rally, Trump questioned whether Pressley is “in any way related to Elvis?”
The 332-95 vote to kill the impeachment effort Wednesday saw a majority of Democrats join with Republicans to block the measure – a win for conservatives and the president.
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he arrives at Pitt-Greenville Airport in Greenville, North Carolina, on July 17, 2019. (Photo: NICHOLAS KAMM, AFP/Getty Images)
The articles declare Trump is “unfit to be president, unfit to represent the American values of decency and morality, respectability and civility, honesty and propriety, reputability and integrity.”
Trump, tweeting from Air Force One en route to North Carolina, dismissed the impeachment resolution as partisan politics.
“This is perhaps the most ridiculous and time consuming project I have ever had to work on,” he wrote. “This should never be allowed to happen to another President of the United States again!”