President Donald Trump held a campaign rally Wednesday night during which the crowd responded to his attacks on a Somali-born Muslim congresswoman with chants of “Send her back! Send her back!”
The crowd’s response to Trump echoed the racist remarks he has aimed in recent days at four minority Democratic congresswomen he has accused of making hateful comments about the country, setting off a controversy that led the Democratically controlled House to vote to formally rebuke him on Tuesday night.
“These congresswomen are helping the rise of a militant, hard left. They never have anything good to say, which is why I say, ‘if they don’t like it, let them leave.’ ” Trump said. “They don’t love our country and in some cases I think they hate our country.”
The crowd responded by chanting “leave!”
On Sunday, Trump sent out a series of racist tweets attacking Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, who have been heavily critical of his administration, by saying the four Democrats should “go back” to “the crime infested places from which they came.” All four of the congresswomen are American citizens and only Omar, a Somali refugee, was not born in the United States.
Early in his remarks Wednesday night, Trump elicited loud boos when he went after Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley and Tlaib one by one, but he reserved most of his wrath for Omar.
During his 90-minute appearance here, Trump listed controversial remarks made by Omar, including her comments earlier this year that some argued perpetuated anti-Semitic tropes and he falsely claimed that she had praised al-Qaida.
“Ilhan Omar blamed the United States for the terrorist attacks on our country, saying terrorism is a reaction to our involvement in other people’s affairs, she smeared U.S. service members involved in Black Hawk down, in other words she slandered brave Americans who tried to keep peace in Somalia, she minimized the September 11 attacks on our homeland,” Trump told the crowd.
The “send her back” chants intensified during the rally, and Trump paused to let them continue after he said, “and obviously and importantly she has a history of launching vicious anti-Semitic screeds.”
(c) 2019, The Washington Post · Ashley Parker, Colby Itkowitz