Republican congressman Ralph Abraham (LA) on Monday criticized four progressive Democratic lawmakers for allegedly saying “anti-American and anti-Semitic things” and offered to pay for their flight tickets “out of this country.”
“There’s no question that the members of Congress that @realDonaldTrump called out have absolutely said anti-American and anti-Semitic things,” Abraham tweeted on Monday afternoon. “I’ll pay for their tickets out of this country if they just tell me where they’d rather be.”
The 64-year-old lawmaker’s remarks refer to President Donald Trump’s Sunday tweet, where he urged four progressive Democratic congresswomen — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib — to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
Although the president did not name any specific representatives, most agreed his remarks were aimed at the four members of the so-called “Squad,” all first-term progressives and all women of color. Despite the president’s claims that they were all foreign-born, all but one were born in America. Congresswoman Omar was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, and came to the U.S. as a child after her family fled their home nation.
Democratic lawmakers — including the “Squad,” and almost every 2020 presidential candidate — quickly moved to condemn Trump’s tweet as “racist” on Sunday, shortly before the hashtags #RacistInChief and #TrumpIsARacist began trending on Twitter.
Although Pelosi has engaged in a public feud with the four progressive lawmakers in recent weeks over border spending, the Speaker was of the first to stand by the freshman congresswomen in condemning Trump’s tweet.
“When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to ‘Make America Great Again’ has always been about making America white again,” the speaker tweeted.
Despite the backlash, Trump doubled down on his remarks in a speech delivered at Monday’s “Made In America” event. “You can leave, you can leave right now. Come back if you like. Don’t come back. It’s okay too. But if you’re not happy, you can leave,” the president said, referring to members of the “Squad.” “I’m very unhappy. I’m watching them. All they do is complain. All I’m saying is, if they wanna leave, they can leave.”
“These are people that hate our country,” Trump added. “Now, you can say what you want but get a list of all of the statements that they’ve said. All I’m saying is if they’re not happy here, they can leave.”
*see full story by NewsWeek