News, Culture & Society

‘They can go wherever they want’: Trump keeps hammering ‘the squad’

Donald Trump kept hammering the ‘squad’ on Tuesday, saying they can stay or leave the United States but ‘they should love our country’ as the battle between the president and the progressive Democrats continued to burn. 

‘It’s up to them,’ Trump said in the Cabinet Room when asked where the members of the ‘squad’ – three of whom were born in the United States – should go if they took his suggestion to leave America.

‘Wherever they want – or they can stay. But they should love our country. They shouldn’t hate our country,’ he said.

Trump tapped a paper on the table in front of him and said: ‘You look at what they said. I have clips right here. The most vile, horrible statements about our country. About Israel. About others.’

Donald Trump kept hammering the ‘squad’ on Tuesday, saying they can stay or leave the United States but ‘they should love our country’

“It’s up to them. Do what they want. They can leave. They can stay. They should love our country, and they should work for the good of our country,’ he concluded.

The president, during his cabinet meeting, also waved a piece of paper – visible upon which was Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar, a frequent target of the Trump’s wrath. 

Trump has not let up on his criticism of the four lawmakers who make up the ‘squad’ – Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley – despite accusations his remarks were racist and even as some Republicans warn him to focus on the liberal lawmakers’ policies and not on the personal. 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi took to the House floor Tuesday afternoon to criticize the president for sticking to his guns.

‘How shameful to hear him continue to defend those offensive words, words that we have all heard and repeated about not only our members, but countless others. Our caucus will continue to respond to the attacks on our members which reflect a fundamental disrespect for the beautiful diversity of America. There’s no place anywhere for the president’s words which are not only divisive but dangerous,’ she said. 

‘There’s no response to those words except a swift condemnation,’ she added.

After she finished speaking, Republican Representative Doug Collins asked for her words to be stricken from the official Congressional Record for violating House procedure, which blocks maligning of the president on the House floor.

‘I have cleared my remarks with the parliamentarian before I read them,’ she snapped back and walked away.

And he has defended himself as he continues to slam the members of Congress. 

‘Those Tweets were NOT Racist,’ the president wrote on Twitter earlier Tuesday. ‘I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!’

Trump also expressed his fury about an upcoming vote in the House to condemn his tweets, calling it a  ‘con game’ that will backfire on Democrats as their party is linked more closely with the lawmakers who make up the ‘squad.’

‘The so-called vote to be taken is a Democrat con game. Republicans should not show “weakness” and fall into their trap,’ he warned on Twitter. 

Donald Trump blasted House Democrats for refusing to condemn Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her 'the squad' for the 'vile, hateful' things they've said,playing offense as charges of racism flew around the nation

Donald Trump blasted House Democrats for refusing to condemn Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her ‘the squad’ for the ‘vile, hateful’ things they’ve said,playing offense as charges of racism flew around the nation

Trump defended himself Tuesday against charges of racism, after he tweeted that a quartet of first-term congresswomen, all minorities, should leave the U.S. and 'go back where they came from'; and he insisted that a planned vote of condemnation against him was a 'con game' that would backfire on Democrats

Trump defended himself Tuesday against charges of racism, after he tweeted that a quartet of first-term congresswomen, all minorities, should leave the U.S. and ‘go back where they came from’; and he insisted that a planned vote of condemnation against him was a ‘con game’ that would backfire on Democrats

The president also touted the squad’s low poll numbers as he gleefully noted they are now the face of the Democratic Party – a move he helped engineer with his tweets against them. 

‘Omar is polling at 8%, Cortez at 21%. Nancy Pelosi tried to push them away, but now they are forever wedded to the Democrat Party. See you in 2020!’ Trump wrote. 

Ocasio-Cortez hit Trump back with a tweet of her own. 

‘You’re right, Mr. President – you don’t have a racist bone in your body. You have a racist mind in your head, and a racist heart in your chest. That’s why you violate the rights of children and tell the Congresswoman who represents your home borough, to “go back to my country,”‘ she wrote. 

And the New York Democrat told TMZ she’s never a met a racist who admitted to being a racist.

‘I think he’s got a racist brain in his head. I think he’s got a racist heart in his chest. And I have never personally met a racist that admitted to being a racist,’ she said. 

Democrats, meanwhile, fretted Trump was intentionally stirring the pot with his tweets. 

‘He knows exactly what he’s doing,’ Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos told reporters in the Capitol Tuesday morning. ‘He’s a constant distraction.’

Rep. Donna Shalala seemed resigned that the tweets would continue. 

‘I would love to move on but I don’t think the president’s going to,’ she told DailyMail.com. 

Speaker Pelosi rallied her troops Tuesday ahead of a vote on a resolution condemning Trump's tweets

Speaker Pelosi rallied her troops Tuesday ahead of a vote on a resolution condemning Trump’s tweets

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell would not address the substance of the president's tweets

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell would not address the substance of the president’s tweets

On the other hand, Republicans on Capitol Hill walked a careful tightrope of balancing their defense of their president without getting into the substance of his tweets.

‘The president is not a racist,’ Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday but he declined to talk about Trump’s call for the Democratic lawmakers to ‘go back where they came from.’

McConnell, whose wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, is an immigrant from Taiwan – declined to weigh in on the tweets.

He also pointed out his wife came to the U.S. at the age of 8 – ‘legally.’ 

‘Look, I’m obviously a big fan of legal immigration. It’s been a big part of my family for a quarter of a century, I look around the country and watch the contributions that have been made by new arrivals, and the children of new arrivals, it’s been reinvigorating America for hundreds of years. I’m a big fan of legal immigration,’ he said in the Capitol building Tuesday afternoon.

He argued the rhetoric is coming from all sides of the political spectrum.

‘The president is not a racist. I think the tone of all of this is not good for the country. But it’s coming from all different ideological points of view, that’s the point. To single out any segment of this I think is a mistake. There’s been rhetoric from a whole lot of different sources, all across the ideological spectrum in our country,’ McConnell said.

Congresswoman Liz Cheney, the highest-ranking GOP woman in the House, said their criticism of liberals ‘has absolutely nothing to do with their gender, with their religion, or with their race, it has to do with the content of their policy.’

And House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said he would encourage members of his party to vote against the Democrats’ resolution condemning Trump’s tweets, arguing it was ‘all politics.’ 

‘I will vote against this resolution if you’re asking,’ McCarthy said Tuesday at a news conference on Capitol Hill. ‘It’s all politics. If you look at the resolution itself and you look at the rules of the house, you can’t even name the resolution on the floor. If this is the case of what they are concerned most about, let’s go through every comment individuals have made on the other side of the aisle, are we bringing a resolution up on the floor about their comments? No.’

The resolution ‘strongly condemns’ Trump’s tweets that call for the four lawmakers to go ‘back where they came from.’

It is scheduled to be voted on Tuesday night. 

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway defended the president as a not a racist.

‘I work with this President, I know him. I know his heart, I know his actions, I know how much he has helped people of color. And I go by what people do, not what other people say about them,’ she said on Fox News. 

Trump, meanwhile, had already blasted House Democrats earlier in the morning for refusing to condemn Ocasio-Cortez and her ‘squad’ for the ‘vile, hateful’ things they’ve said – marking day three of his outrage against the progressive lawmakers.

‘The Democrat Congresswomen have been spewing some of the most vile, hateful, and disgusting things ever said by a politician in the House or Senate, & yet they get a free pass and a big embrace from the Democrat Party. Horrible anti-Israel, anti-USA, pro-terrorist & public shouting of the F…word [sic], among many other terrible things, and the petrified Dems run for the hills’ the president had tweeted.

‘Why isn’t the House voting to rebuke the filthy and hate laced things they have said? Because they are the Radical Left, and the Democrats are afraid to take them on. Sad!’ he added.

Trump again advised the lawmakers that they can leave the United States if they aren’t pleased with the direction in which he’s taking it.

‘Our Country is Free, Beautiful and Very Successful. If you hate our Country, or if you are not happy here, you can leave!,’ he tweeted. 

House Republican Leaders - Reps. Kevin McCarthy, Liz Cheney and Steve Scalise - are walking a careful tight rope of defending Trump without getting into the substance of his tweets

House Republican Leaders – Reps. Kevin McCarthy, Liz Cheney and Steve Scalise – are walking a careful tight rope of defending Trump without getting into the substance of his tweets

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley held a press conference on Capitol Hill Monday to rebuke the president

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley held a press conference on Capitol Hill Monday to rebuke the president

The four-page resolution from House Democrats charges the president with having ‘legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.’  

Speaker Nancy Pelosi rallied her troops ahead of the vote and called the ‘squad’ her ‘sisters.’

‘These are our sisters. The fact is, as offended as we are, and we are offended by what he said about our sisters. He says that about people every day and they feel as hurt as we do about somebody in our family having this offence against them,’ she told Democrats at their weekly meeting in the Capitol, according to an aide in the room. 

‘This is, I hope, one where we will get Republican support. If they can’t support condemning the words of the President, well that’s a message in and of itself,’ she added.  

But the House Republican leadership urged its lawmakers to vote no on the resolution.

‘Democrats are prioritizing politics over upholding the rules, precedents and dignity of the people’s House by engaging in personal attacks towards President Trump in the text of this legislation, which would be a breach of decorum if read by a Member on the floor,’ read a notice from the Republican Whip’s office.  

Trump’s constant complaint Tuesday was that Democrats haven’t scolded their own lawmakers for comments made that perceived to be anti-Semitic and defensive of the 9/11 attacks. 

He also referenced the fact Tlaib – one of the ‘squad’ members – has said of him that she wants to ‘impeach the m-fer.’

Democrats, six months ago, passed a broad resolution condemning hate speech but it didn’t mention any lawmaker by name – a controversy at the time given Rep. Ilhan Omar – another ‘squad’ member – had made comments seen as anti-Semitic.

The Democrats’ resolution condemning the president’s tweets does name Donald Trump, according to text of the measure filed Monday night.

The resolution ‘strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants, and those who may look to the President like immigrants, should ”go back” to other countries, by referring to immigrants and asylum seekers as ”invaders,” and by saying that Members of Congress who are immigrants (or those of our colleagues who are wrongly assumed to be immigrants) do not belong in Congress or in the United States of America.’ 

The measure features positive statements from the country’s founding fathers and past presidents on the important role immigrants play in the United States.   

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer announced there will be a companion resolution in the Senate.

‘Speaker Pelosi has said that the House will introduce a resolution denouncing the president’s comments. Our intention is to do the same in the Senate. We’ll see. We’ll see just how many Republicans will sign on,’ he said on the Senate floor Monday. 

Rep. Alyanna Pressley

Rep. Rashid Tlaib

Trump has been attacking the ‘squad’: Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Alyanna Pressley and Rashid Tlaib

Trump was accused of a racist attack against the members of the ‘squad’ – of whom only Omar was born overseas. She and her family fled war in Somalia and she is now a U.S. citizen. The rest of the lawmakers were born in the United States. 

All have called for Trump’s impeachment. 

Omar and Tlaib are also the first Muslim women elected to Congress. 

The four women fired back at Trump on Monday during a press conference on Capitol Hill.

‘We can either continue to enable this president and report on the bile of garbage that comes out of his mouth,’ said Omar, ‘or we can hold him accountable for his crimes. It is time for us to stop allowing this president to make a mockery out of our constitution. It is time for us to impeach this president.’

‘I urge House leadership, many of my colleagues to take action to impeach this lawless president today,’ said Tlaib. 

Shortly after she took office, a video emerged of Tlaib at a MoveOn.org event in January, vowing of Trump: ‘We’re going to impeach the motherf***er!’ 

She reiterated that promise on Saturday when she addressed the liberal Netroots Nation conference.

‘We’re going to to impeach the m*fer, don’t worry. We’re going to impeach him,’ she said to applause.   

Trump struck back at the Democrats' resolution

Trump struck back at the Democrats’ resolution 

Omar and her family came to the United States in the early 1990s to escape the war in Somalia. She became a citizen in 2000 when she was 17 years old.

Tlaib is the daughter of two Palestinian immigrants and Ocasio-Cortez’s mother is from Puerto Rico. Tlaib was born in Detroit while Ocasio-Cortez was born in the Bronx borough of New York City.

Pressley is the first African American woman elected to Congress to represent Massachusetts. She was born in Cincinnati.  

The Democrats’ resolution against the president comes six months after House Democrats passed a watered-down resolution condemning hate language after alleged anti-semitic comments from Omar.

Omar came under fire in March for suggesting that supporters of Israel were urging lawmakers to have ‘allegiance to a foreign country.’ 

And she also appeared to minimize the September 11 attacks when she noted a Muslim group was formed in its wake ‘because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.’  

Reps. Ilham Omar and Rashida Tlaib are the first Muslim women elected to Congress

Reps. Ilham Omar and Rashida Tlaib are the first Muslim women elected to Congress

A battle broke out between the older, powerful Jewish members of Congress who accused Omar of anti-Semitism and the younger, progressive members who defended Omar’s right to speak.  

Democratic leaders had hoped to dispatch with the issue quickly through a hastily written resolution condemning anti-semitism. 

But they broadened the text to include condemn Islamophobia and white supremacism after Omar’s defenders said one form of hate should not be singled out. 

Minutes before the scheduled vote Democrats pulled it again, to add several groups not included in the original measure, including Latinos, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and LGBTQ community.  

Omar’s name was not specifically mentioned in the 1,400 word text, which some Democrats had argued for while the congresswoman’s defenders countered that would require a resolution any time a lawmaker said or tweeted something offensive.  

The Democratic ‘squad’ in Trump’s Twitter firing line 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29, New York

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Background

Known by her initials, AOC was born in The Bronx, New York City, to Puerto Rican parents. Before entering Congress, she worked for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and as a bartender.

Controversies

AOC caused a backlash among Israeli campaign groups for branding the IDF’s response to the 2018 Gaza border flare-ups a ‘massacre’ and labeling Israel’s presence in the West Bank an ‘occupation’.

Shortly after entering the House, she slammed Trump as a ‘racist’ in a TV interview.

She said: ‘The words he uses…are historic dog whistles of white supremacy. 

‘The president certainly didn’t invent racism, but he’s certainly given a voice to it.’

Last month, her comments likening migrant holding facilities to ‘concentration camps’ sparked outrage among senior GOP figures, including House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy who demanded an apology, which AOC refused to give.

Radical policies

AOC masterminded the proposed Green New Deal, which seeks to overhaul economic inequality through a raft of public works projects and phase out fossil fuels. 

The cost of these measures have been estimated to but an eye-watering $3.9trillion on the US purse. 

It has been supported by only a handful of fellow Democrats and come under fire from Republicans.

Several high-profile Democrats such as 2020 hopeful Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have suggested that AOC’s radical policies would make the party unelectable.

Ilhan Omar, 36, Minnesota

Background

Omar was born and raised in Somalia by her father after her mother died when she was two. They fled the country to escape civil war and she arrived in New York when she was 10. She was one of two Muslim women to be the first elected to Congress in 2018. 

On entering the House, she fought successfully to change its longstanding ban on head-wear, allowing her to keep her Hijab on.

Controversies

Earlier this year, she was reported to have said ‘some people did something’ in regards to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, prompting a backlash from Trump.

And in January, she was forced to apologize for using ‘anti-Semitic tropes’ after she suggested that US support for Israel stemmed from donations from a pro-Israel lobby. 

Steny Hoyer, the House Majority Leader, branded the comments ‘hurtful’.

Radical policies

Omar has called for a significant reduction in military spending and ‘perpetual aggression’. She also supports free tuition fees for college students.

She has rallied behind Bernie Sanders’ proposal to to eliminate all $1.6 trillion in outstanding student debt by levying a 0.5 per cent tax on sales. 

Omar has also branded the current Federal minimum wage a ‘poverty wage’ and supports raising it to $15 per hour. 

Ayanna Pressley, 45, Massachusetts

Background

Born in Ohio but raised in Chicago, Pressley as the only child of a single mother because her father was ‘in and out of prison’.

She went on to serve as Secretary of State John Kerry’s political director.

She is the first African-American woman to be elected to the US Congress from Massachusetts. 

Controversies

In January, she apologized after quoting Alice Walker’s book The Color Purple, saying she wasn’t aware of the author’s recent praise of an anti-Semitic writer. 

And recently, she implied that ethnic minorities who work for the US Customs and Border Protection some betraying their own backgrounds.

She said that they are a ‘cog’ in a system which is imprisoning migrants which ‘look just like them’.  

And in her victory speech after her primary victory, she called President Trump: ‘a racist, misogynistic, truly empathy-bankrupt man’.

Radical policies

Like most of the ‘squad’ Pressley supports Medicare for all by ramping up taxes as well as free education for university students. 

She is a proponent of the ‘take a knee’ campaign which sees sports stars kneel during the national anthem to highlight police brutality against people of color. 

Pioneered by Colin Kapernick, it has come under scrutiny by the President. 

Rashida Tlaib, 31, Michigan

Background

The oldest of 14 children, she was born in Detroit to working class Palestinian parents.

Tlaib entered the Michigan state House before being one of the first Muslim women elected to the US Congress. 

Controversies 

On the day she entered Congress, Tlaib told a group of supporters her mission was to impeach Trump, who she branded a ‘motherf*****’.

And in May, Republicans accused Tlaib of spitting anti-Semitic remarks after she said talking about the Holocaust was ‘calming’.

Trump tweeted: ‘Rep. Tlaib is being slammed for her horrible and highly insensitive statement on the Holocaust. 

‘She obviously has tremendous hatred of Israel and the Jewish people.’

But Democrats insist that she was referring to the efforts of her Palestinian ancestors in creating a safe haven for the Jewish people. 

Radical policies

She has called for the Immigration Customs Enforcement agency to be abolished and wants a $15 per hour minimum wage.

She often rallies against the super-rich and vows to protect the unions to fight against wealthy Wall Street businesses. 

She advocates scrapping the cap on what millionaires pay into the Social Security system.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk