President Donald Trump on Wednesday night continued his days-long attack on four congresswomen at a rally in Greenville, North Carolina, where a raucous crowd chanted, “Send them back!” and “Traitor!”
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Just at the mere mention of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass, the thousands of supporters gathered at the president’s campaign rally launched into prolong boos.
Three of the women were born in the U.S., and Omar came to the U.S. as a refugee as a child. All four won a popular vote to claim their seats in Congress.
Trump, just days after writing tweets calling on the four congresswomen known as “the squad” to leave the country — remarks widely condemned, including by some in Congress — slammed Rep. Omar for past comments she made regarding the terror attacks on Sept. 11 and accused the representative of having a “history of launching vicious anti-Semitic” comments.
Digging in, the president launched into a vicious series of attacks aimed the four freshman congresswomen, ripping Pressley for thinking “people with the same skin color all need to think the same.”
He called out Tlaib for using the “F word” to describe his presidency, adding, “That’s not nice, even for me.” And yet, the president himself used profanity earlier in his speech, complaining about the “bullsh–” his administration has gone through, referring to the special counsel investigation.
The president also zeroed in on Ocasio-Cortez, telling the North Carolina crowd that he didn’t have time to “go with three different names” and instead just opted for Cortez. And the president also reiterated his attacks from over the weekend where he told the four congresswomen to go back to their home countries.
“I said I have a suggestion for the hate-filled extremists who are constantly trying to tear our country down. They never have anything good to say, that’s why I say, hey, if they don’t like it let him leave. Leave, let him leave,” the president said.
In response to the president’s rally, Omar shared an excerpt from the Maya Angelou poem “Still I Rise” on Twitter and added, “I am where I belong, at the people’s house and you’re just gonna have to deal!”
👋🏽 I am where I belong, at the people’s house and you’re just gonna have to deal! pic.twitter.com/W0OvDXGxQX
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 18, 2019
Other members of Congress quickly came to the Minnesota representative’s defense, including Rep. Andy Levin, who tweeted, “If there is a white nationalist ‘base’ big enough to support a presidency built on hatred and fear of these four women of color, our country is in deep trouble.”
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris also took to Twitter shortly after the president’s rally concluded, slamming the event.
“It’s vile. It’s cowardly. It’s xenophobic. It’s racist. It defiles the office of the President. And I won’t share it here.It’s time to get Trump out of office and unite the country,” the 2020 hopeful wrote.
The president didn’t just go after the four freshman congresswomen. He saved some venom for a number of his potential 2020 opponents, calling out Sen. Elizabeth Warren multiple times, mentioning more than once that he should have saved his “Pocahontas” attack on the senator for later in the campaign.
“Pocahontas is gaining a little bit because we probably used the Pocahontas a little bit too early, but that’s OK, we’ll bring it out of retirement very soon,” the president said.
Sen. Bernie Sanders also got a shoutout from the president, who said the progressive Democrat “missed his time” and that his chance at the White House was taken away from him.
“I don’t know why he’s running,” Trump said. “He missed his time. Hey, Bernie, let me save you a lot of time and effort, Bernie, you missed your time. It got taken from you four years ago, Bernie.”
Trump then targeted South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, bringing up the racial turmoil back in his hometown stemming from a police shooting of a black man.
“He goes goes back home, and African Americans literally were so angry at him for the lousy job,” Trump continued. “And he’s supposed to be like a hot young star. If that’s a hot young star, I guess I just don’t know stardom anymore.”
Trump opened the night rally touting the failed House vote earlier in the afternoon on a resolution to impeach him.
“I just heard that the United States House of Representatives has overwhelmingly voted to kill the most ridiculous project I’ve ever been involved in, the resolution — how stupid is that? — on impeachment,” Trump said. “I want to thank those Democrats, because many of them voted for us.”
This is the first time Trump addressed supporters after his weekend Twitter attack on progressive Democratic congresswomen for, as he described it, their “horrible and disgusting actions.” The president said they should stop criticizing the government and “go back” to where they came from.
The rally on Wednesday night, originally scheduled on the same date of special counsel Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony, now comes a day after the House of Representatives voted to formally condemn the president’s attacks as many Democratic lawmakers continue calls for impeachment. Mueller’s testimony was pushed back to July 24.
Ahead of the rally, Trump campaign aides jumped to the defense of the president, accusing Democratic lawmakers of being socialists. But the campaign stop will also serve as a gauge on whether there’s a political price to pay within the president’s base.
“President Trump loves this country and takes issue with elected officials who constantly disparage it and spew horrible anti-Semitic rhetoric at the same time. All Democrats have now leapt to the defense of the ‘Blame America First’ crowd when they really should be defending America and rooting out anti-Semitism in their ranks,” Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign’s communications director told ABC News in a statement.
The president has a pattern of making similarly inflammatory comments, including his remark about “very fine people on both sides” in Charlottesville — where a woman was killed during protests — or calling some Mexicans “rapists” the launch of his campaign in 2015.
Still, the president’s base appears to remain supportive.
According to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, among current Trump supporters — those who back him against all Democrats — 52% call it extremely important to them that he wins a second term. In another measure, 48% of adults said there’s no chance they’d consider Trump against any Democratic candidate. It’s 46% among currently registered voters.
The event Wednesday night was the 26th for Trump since June 2015 in North Carolina, a state he narrowly won in 2016.