Tue, 20 Aug 2019

Trump, Condemned for 'Racist' Comments, Hits Campaign Trail

Voice of America
18 Jul 2019, 05:05 GMT+10

U.S. President Donald Trump heads to a campaign rally in North Carolina Wednesday night, promising to continue to talk about four "vicious young Socialist Congresswomen," a day after the House of Representatives condemned him for "racist" remarks targeting the minority lawmakers.

Trump on Twitter said he would talk to his supporters in the university town of Greenville about the U.S. economy -- "the best it has ever been" -- but "also about people who love, and hate, our Country (mostly love)!"

He cited rising poll numbers in the early stages of his 2020 re-election contest and thanked the lawmakers, but told them, "America will never buy your act!"

Four Republicans joined every Democrat in the House on Tuesday night to approve a resolution condemning Trump's "racist" remarks. At the center of the dispute was Trump's tweet telling Congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayana Pressley and Rashida Tlaib to "go back" to their countries to fix them before attacking the United States, even though all four are U.S. citizens, Somali refugee Omar as a naturalized citizen and other three citizens by birth.

A staunch Trump supporter, Senator Lindsey Graham, said he does not think it was appropriate for Trump to tell the lawmakers to "go back" to their homelands when the U.S. is their home.

But Graham concluded, "I think the president is in a tug of war with his opponents. The question is do I think the President's a racist? No, and let me tell you why. If you're a Somali refugee and you're wearing a (Trump-themed "Make America Great Again") hat, and you're a big Trump fan, you'd probably be having dinner at the White House. So, he lashes out at people who are critical of him, and, in his view, are hurting the country and that's what this is all about."

Republican Sen. John Kennedy said he has respect for the four congresswomen and that they are "entitled to their point of view." But he added, "I think they're left wing cranks, and I don't think that most Americans agree with them."

The House resolution, which was passed 240-187, "strongly condemns" Trump's "racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for the chamber to unite "in condemning the president's racist tweets."

Her remark prompted a formal objection from Congressman Doug Collins, who argued the speaker's phrase violated House decorum. A vote of the full House, however, rejected the Republican's call for Pelosi's comments to be struck from the record.

The majority of Republicans rejected the resolution that condemned the president from their party.

"This ridiculous slander does a disservice to our nation," Congressman Dan Meuser said.

Trump, who has been under fire since making the comments in a tweet Sunday, has not backed down. He used late Tuesday tweets to praise the Republicans who voted against the resolution.

"So great to see how unified the Republican Party was on today's vote concerning statements I made about four Democratic Congresswomen. If you really want to see statements, look at the horrible things they said about our Country, Israel, and much more."

Trump, who has said the lawmakers should leave the United States, was asked by a reporter during an earlier Tuesday Cabinet meeting where they should go.

"It's up to them. Wherever they want, or they can stay," replied the president. "But they should love our country. They shouldn't hate our country."

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