Andy Harris, a Republican representative from Maryland, said when Donald Trump told congresswomen of color to go back to where they came from he was referencing their home districts and not foreign countries.
President Trump posted a trio of tweets Sunday that told a group of four freshman congresswomen to try and fix their ‘corrupt’ and ‘inept’ countries of origin before trying to wade into American politics.
‘Well look, ask the president what he meant by it. But clearly it’s not a racist comment,’ Harris told WBAL NewsNow host Bryan Nehman. ‘He could have meant go back to the district they came from. To the neighborhood they came from.’
Only one of the four representatives Trump was referencing in his tweets was born in a country other than America.
Republican Congressman Any Harris said Donald Trump’s tweet telling freshmen minority congresswomen to go back to where they came from could have been in reference to their home districts or neighborhoods
‘Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,’ he suggested of four progressive minority representatives. ‘Then come back and show us how it is done’
Trump said these congresswomen should go fix their countries of origin before trying to weigh in on American politics and claimed they are from ‘corrupt,’ ‘inept’ countries
Harris claims people said the tweet was racist because that’s the ‘default’ when you disagree with someone
Harris, the only Republican congressman from Maryland, made mention of this, laughing that Trump obviously meant something other than the congresswomen’s nationalities.
‘Yeah, they all didn’t come from foreign countries, so you’d have to presume that it’s not a country,’ Harris said when asked if he truly thought Trump was talking about districts or neighborhoods.
Trump posted his tweets about Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley – all minority women congresswomen who voted into the House during the 2018 midterm elections.
Omar was born in Somalia and fled to the U.S. with her family when she was a child. Otherwise, Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley and Tlaib were all born in America.
‘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 posted to Twitter Sunday.
‘Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,’ he suggested. ‘Then come back and show us how it is done.’
Shortly after posting the tweets, he was met with a flurry of backlash.
The president sided, has found himself siding with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is at odds with the four freshmen members, and suggested she would arrange free travel so they can fix where they came from first.
‘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!’ he concluded.
Trump was making reference to Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (upper left), Ilhan Omar (upper right), Ayanna Pressley (lower left) and Rashida Tlaib (lower right). They are all minority women, but of the four, only Omar was born in a country other than the U.S.
Omar fled Somalia with her family when she was a child. She became a U.S. citizen when she was 17 and represents Minnesota in the House
The tweets were labeled immediately as racist and another way of telling minorities to ‘go back to where they came from.’
‘They’re obviously not racist,’ Harris said of the president’s tweets. ‘But again, you know, when anyone disagrees with someone now, you know, the default is you call them a racist. And this is no exception.’
Omar fired back at the president, saying she swore an oath to serve in the U.S. Congress because she wants to work to make this country better.
‘Mr. President,’ the Somali-American wrote. ‘As Members of Congress, the only country we swear an oath to is the United States. Which is why we are fighting to protect it from the worst, most corrupt and inept president we have ever seen.’
Ocasio-Cortez, whose mother is from Puerto Rico and father of Puerto Rican descent, responded, as well, claiming Monday morning that Trump was using the language of a white supremacist.
‘It’s important to note that the President’s words yday, telling four American Congresswomen of color ‘go back to your own country,’ is hallmark language of white supremacists,’ she tweeted. ‘Trump feels comfortable leading the GOP into outright racism, and that should concern all Americans.’
The 29-year-old congresswoman from New York said Trump was angry because he didn’t like the makeup of Congress now that there are more women and minorities representing U.S. districts.
‘You are angry because you don’t believe in an America where I represent New York 14, where the good people of Minnesota elected @IlhanMN, where @RashidaTlaib fights for Michigan families, where @AyannaPressley champions little girls in Boston,’ she tweeted Sunday.
All four of the women have recently clashed with Pelosi as they voted against a $4.6 billion Republican bill aimed at providing aide to the border and immigration crisis. Pelosi helped get the bill passed in the House after reports emerged of the deteriorating conditions at migrant detention facilities.
The House speaker accused the freshmen congresswomen of relying on their social media following, which she claims doesn’t translate to real action in Congress.
The congresswomen, who were all elected in the 2018 midterm elections, reacted to the president’s comments, claiming he was using language of a white supremacist
Ocasio-Cortez said his language should concern all Americans
Omar insisted that she made a pledge to serve the U.S., which she claims she and her fellow congresswomen are fighting to protect from Donald Trump
‘All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world,’ Pelosi said after all four congresswomen voted against the border bill. ‘But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.’
Ocasio-Cortez warned Pelosi not to discount their social media followings because it proves they have the support to ‘achieve meaningful change.’
‘I find it strange when members act as though social media isn’t important,’ Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
‘That public ‘whatever’ is called public sentiment,’ Ocasio-Cortez continued directly responding to Pelosi’s comments. ‘And wielding the power to shift it is how we actually achieve meaningful change in this country.’