President Trump and his team pushed back aggressively Tuesday against Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and three other liberal women as “the squad that hasn’t done squat.”
In a Cabinet meeting, Mr. Trump held aloft a photograph of Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota with some of her accompanying tweets, saying she has engaged in anti-American and anti-Israeli rhetoric. He said the lawmakers “should work for the good of our country.”
“I think it’s terrible when people speak so … horribly about our country,” the president said.
Asked where the lawmakers should go at his earlier suggestion to leave the U.S., Mr. Trump replied, “Wherever they want — or they can stay. It’s up to them. But they should love our country, and they should work for the good of our country. They shouldn’t hate our country.”
The lawmakers’ comments about the U.S. are “so horrible that I almost don’t want to read it, it’s so bad,” Mr. Trump added.
“It’s my opinion they hate our country. And that’s not good. It’s not acceptable,” the president said.
Senior White House counselor Kellyanne Conway also accused the media of a double-standard in the president’s feud with the freshman Democrats. She said journalists are siding with the female lawmakers who accuse Mr. Trump of racism, but they won’t stand up for Trump supporters who are attacked simply for wearing a “MAGA” hat.
“Stop being so ga-ga and besotted with people who got here a couple of months ago, a squad that hasn’t done squat except be on magazine covers, except cause trouble,” Mrs. Conway told reporters at the White House. “It’s not about them. It’s about people who are attacking people for wearing a red hat. It’s about all of you rushing to judgment on those poor kids from Covington” Kentucky — a reference to high school students who were criticized in an incident at the Lincoln Memorial when a drum-banging Native American confronted them.
“[Supreme Court Justice Brett M.] Kavanaugh, Covington — we’re sick to the rush to judgment on everything,” Mrs. Conway said. “Two years of a rush to judgment of nonsense on the special counsel.”
Mr. Trump said Tuesday he doesn’t “have a racist bone in my body,” after creating a furor by telling the four minority Democratic congresswomen to “go back” to their countries of origin and stop criticizing the U.S. The president said a scheduled House vote on a resolution condemning his rhetoric is “a con game.”
“This should be a vote on the filthy language, statements and lies told by the Democrat Congresswomen, who I truly believe, based on their actions, hate our Country,” he tweeted.
At the Cabinet meeting, Mr. Trump criticized “far left” Democrats for falsely saying that migrant detention centers are filthy and children there are not being taken care of.
“They’re not concentration camps. They’re really well run,” he said, referring to a characterization by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez.
Mrs. Conway said of the four Democrats, “Those four people are the only ones to vote against any form of humanitarian aid at the border. They’ve lost moral authority to scream and preen about the border. They just represent a very dark element in this country, that seems to not respect the military, not respect veterans, not vote for humanitarian aid.”
• Dave Boyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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