President Trump said Sunday that four Liberal women members of Congress who criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), "Should go back and help repair the totally devastated and infested places of the where they come from, "prompting other Democrats, including Pelosi to join their defense.
Pelosi denounced Trump's tweets as "xenophobic comments supposed to divide our country".
Trump's comment, made in the morning tweets, comes in the internal conflicts between Pelosi and the four first-year women of color – Democratic Representatives Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ( NY) and Ilhan Omar (Minn.) – overflowed in public view. This is also happening as US police and immigration officials prepare to bring together families of migrants who have received deportation orders across the country.
"So interesting to see women of the" Progressive "Democratic Congress, from countries where governments are a total and total disaster, the worst, most corrupt and most inept in the world (even if they have a functioning government), Now out loud and say fiercely to the people of the United States, the largest and most powerful nation in the world, how must our government be led, "Trump told Twitter.
Pressley was born in Cincinnati, Tlaib was born in Detroit and Ocasio-Cortez was born in New York – about 20 miles from the city where Trump was born. Omar was born in Mogadishu, Somalia; her family fled the country during the Civil War while she was a child and she became an American citizen in her teens.
The four women were elected to Congress in 2018.
In a follow-up tweet, Trump suggested that the four Democrats leave Washington.
"Why do not they go back and help repair the totally devastated and crime-ridden places from where they came from," he said. "So come back and show us how it's done. These places are in great need of your help, you will not be able to leave quickly enough. I'm sure Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to organize a free trip quickly! "
Trump's tweets sparked a strong reaction from Pelosi, who described them as racist and divisive.
"When @realDonaldTrump ordered four US Congressional women to return home, he reaffirms that his" Make America Great Again "project has always been to make America white again," she said. stated in a tweet. "Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power."
She also called on Trump to put an end to planned raids on ICE Sunday and to "work with us for a human immigration policy that reflects American values."
Other Democrats also reacted indignantly at Sunday morning television.
"It's a racist tweet. Tell people to come back from where they come from? These are US citizens elected by the United States of America voters to sit in one of the most distinguished bodies of the US House of Representatives. I think it's not right, "said rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) At" Fox News Sunday ".
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called Trump's tweets: "Another effort to divide people according to their religion, ethnicity, background and to create a country where unity can not exist "
"Unfortunately, there is an American tradition that tells people to come home," Luján told CNN's "State of the Union." "It is a very bad tradition that we must eliminate from our country because we are an immigrant nation. This is what we have been by nature for hundreds of years. But you do not expect to hear the President of the United States. "
Facilitator Jake Tapper then asked Ken Cuccinelli, Acting Director of US Immigration and Citizenship Services, if he knew who the president was talking about in his tweets.
"I do not, I do not do it," said Cuccinelli.
Mark Morgan, acting US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, also declined to get involved, saying in CBS News "Face the Nation" that it was up to the president to explain his tweets.
Mike DeBonis contributed to this report.