President Donald Trump is known for his often divisive rhetoric, but he recently took it to a new, even more upsetting level. This week, Trump accused Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley of hating the United States and suggested they "go back" to where they came from. In response, the four Democratic congresswomen denounced Trump's "blatantly racist" remarks with powerful and impassioned statements of their own.
After Trump tweeted on July 14 that "'Progressive' Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe" should "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came," the women — dubbed "the squad" — decided to speak out. (For the record, Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, and Pressley were all born in the United States, while Omar is a naturalized American citizen.)
In a press conference held Monday, July 15, according to HuffPost, Rep. Omar slammed Trump's comments as full of "hypocrisy," noting in her remarks that the president openly criticized the United States during his campaign, but doesn't stand for it when other people — specifically strong women of color — do it.
"When people say, 'If you say a negative thing about this country, you hate this country,' to me, it sort of speaks to the hypocrisy," Rep. Omar said, according to CBS News. "And so for him to condemn us and to say we are un-American for wanting to work hard to make this country be the country we all deserve to live in, it's complete hypocrisy."
Additionally, according to NBC News, Omar called Trump's remarks "blatantly racist" and said that he was promoting "the agenda of white nationalists."
Rep. Talaib issued an equally powerful statement, calling his recent comments a distraction. "We all know the tweets and words from the president are simply a continuation of his racist and xenophobic playbook," she said, according to the BBC. "We cannot allow these hateful actions to distract us from the critical work to hold this administration accountable."
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez said, according to NPR, "We don't leave the things that we love, and when we love this country, what that means is that we propose the solutions to fix it," adding that Trump "does not know how to defend his policies, so what he does is attack us personally, and that is what this is all about." In a tweet, she also called the POTUS' words the "hallmark language of white supremacists."
And, finally, Rep. Pressley urged people to not "take the bait," according to CNN. "We should not take the bait... We can sit here and continue to recycle his hateful rhetoric, of which I can not feign surprise ... because he is if nothing else predictable," Pressley said. "What we are focused on is the hateful policies, which are draconian and oppressive and life-threatening and family-separating, which are being rolled out by this administration each day."
Rep. Pressley also said on Monday that she's "moved on" because she doesn't "have the time to be offended or outraged about [a] predictable pattern of hateful, bigoted rhetoric from the occupant of this White House," as The Hill reported.
Following the backlash his comments and tweets have sparked, Trump told reporters, according to the Associated Press, that it doesn't "concern" him "because many people agree with me... A lot of people love it, by the way." Though as the President of the United States, many might argue that it should concern him.
On Tuesday, NBC News reported that the House of Representatives is voting on a disapproval resolution condemning Trump's "racist comments." According to NBC News, the resolution does not explicitly call Trump racist, but does refer twice to "racist comments."
Trump responded to the action on Twitter, as he often does. On Tuesday morning he tweeted that the four congresswomen "have been spewing some of the most vile, hateful, and disgusting things ever said by a politician in the House or Senate." The president then asked why the House wasn't "voting to rebuke the filthy and hate laced things they have said?"
This is hardly the first time Trump has made remarks that many have denounced as racist. For instance, in 2018, he reportedly said that African, Haitian, and Salvadorian immigrants hail from "sh*thole" countries, according to CNN.
Amid his latest tirade, the strength and composure Reps. Omar, Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, and Pressley showed is not only inspiring, but it also showcases their devotion to their roles and the nation.