Trump wants Democratic congresswomen 'squad' to 'apologize' in Twitter attack

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib D-Mich. listens during a House Oversight and Reform Committee meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington. A relative of Tlaib living in the West Bank says President Donald Trump is an anti-Palestinia

At a Monday news conference, the congresswomen called Trump's tweets "racist" and a "distraction".

Anti-Palestinian son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Trump in a tweet saying: "You are the best friend the Jewish people ever had in the White House!"

"Mr. President, the country I 'come from, ' & the country we all swear to, is the United States", she tweeted, adding that "You rely on a frightened America for your plunder".

Despite the criticism, Trump so far has just doubled down - saying the radical left congresswomen need to apologize to our country, the people of Israel, and the Office of the President.

Those appeared to be references to earlier controversies in which Omar made comments criticizing USA support for Israel that were seen as invoking anti-Semitic tropes and stereotypes.

On Monday, Trump stood by his racist attacks on the quartet of Democratic congresswomen, insisting they leave the United States if they continue complaining about his policies.

Trump continued, "Why do they not go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-prone places they came from?" "I'm sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!"

Trump reiterated his claims about the congresswomen - who are a liberal group known as "the squad" - in a new series of tweets Monday in which he demanded and apology and accused the members of Congress of stoking "racist hatred".

"TrumptweetedSunday morning asking the "'Progressive' Democrat Congresswomen" - widely-interpreted as a reference to US Representatives Alexandria casio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and Ilhan Omar - to "go back" to their "corrupt" and "broken and crime infested" countries.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez tweeted at Mr Trump: "On top of not accepting an America that elected us, you can not accept that we don't fear you either".

"If you look at his wife, she was standing there, she had nothing to say, she probably - maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say, you tell me", he said.

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Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, said he spoke with Mr. Trump after the president's initial tweets and urged him to tone down his rhetoric.

"I don't think that the president's intent any way is racist", said Short, repeatedly pointing to Trump's decision to choose Elaine Chao, who was born outside the country, as his transportation secretary. Omar became a citizen in 2000 when she was 17 years old, according to The New York Times.

It was the President's idea to address his attacks during his "Made in America" event at the White House, a White House official told CNN.

Among the few GOP lawmakers commenting, Rep. Pete Olson of Texas said Trump's Sunday tweet was "not reflective of the values of the 1,000,000+ people" in his district. Ocasio-Cortez was born in New York, Tlaib in Detroit and Pressley in Cincinnati.

Pelosi announced that the House will take up a resolution "condemning the President's xenophobic tweets" - a resolution that she said will be sponsored by Democratic lawmakers who were born overseas.

Trump himself denied his attacks on the four - all women of color - were racist.

Democratic presidential hopefuls also weighed in. "They're four people and that's how many votes they got".

In reaction, Pelosi said that his election slogan of "Make America Great Again" "has always been about making America white again".

Amid the outcry over Trump's suggestion, he wrote on Twitter: "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". "Whether or not you like their politics, telling people born in the United States to "go back where they came from" is flat-out racist and telling naturalized citizens the same is xenophobic".

Trump defended his tweets about the congresswomen, taking to Twitter again Monday to demand apologies from the four Democrats and claiming "so many people are angry at them and & their terrible & disgusting actions".

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