US President Donald Trump has doubled down on tweets he sent over the weekend, telling four US congresswomen of colour to leave the US if they are “not happy here”.
Trump’s comments came today even as the House of Representatives prepared to vote on a resolution to condemn the President’s tweets.
“If you hate our country, if you’re not happy here, you can leave,” Trump said at an event at the White House.
“That’s what I said in a tweet, which I guess some people think is controversial – a lot of people love it by the way, a lot of people love it. But if you’re not happy in the US, if you’re complaining all the time, very simply, you can leave, you can leave right now,” Trump said.
“Come back if you want, don’t come back, it’s okay too, but if you’re not happy you can leave.”
Trump also said that House speaker Nancy Pelosi was being racist when responding to his tweets. She had said Trump was exacerbating white nationalism and using “xenophobic” rhetoric.
Trump had taken aim at four Democratic congresswomen in a tweetstorm over the weekend. He told them to “go back” to the “the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
Hit targets included three congresswomen born in the US – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib – and Ilhan Omar, a Somali refugee who arrived in the US in 1997.
Ocasio-Cortez, a rising star in the Democratic Party, said that Trump’s words were the “hallmark language of white supremacists”.
The President said he had not mentioned any names, but today sent another tweet quoting senator Lindsay Graham.
“We all know that AOC [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] and this crowd are a bunch of communists, they hate Israel, they hate our own country,” the quote read.