Trump tells female Democrats to go back to ‘crime-infested places they came from’

Ocasio-Cortez and other female progressives the target of US preisdent’s tweets

US president Donald Trump: ‘You can’t leave fast enough’. Photograph: Erin Schaff/The New York Times

US president Donald Trump: ‘You can’t leave fast enough’. Photograph: Erin Schaff/The New York Times

 

Donald Trump has attacked four progressive Democratic congresswomen who have clashed with their own party establishment, saying they should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came”.

“You can’t leave fast enough,” he added.

Mr Trump did not name his targets but the high-profile members of “the Squad” are Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York; Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts; Rashida Tlaib of Michigan; and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota

Only one of the congresswomen singled out by Mr Trump was not born in the US. Ms Omar was born in Somalia and came to the US at the age of 12, after a spell in a refugee camp.

Ms Tlaib, the other Muslim woman in Congress, was born to Palestinian immigrants in Detroit. Ms Pressley, who is African American, was born in Cincinnati and raised in Chicago. Ms Ocasio-Cortez was born in New York City to a family with roots in Puerto Rico

Their run-in with House speaker Nancy Pelosi, initially over her support for funding to be spent by the Trump administration on the humanitarian crisis at the southern border, has eaten up column inches and dominated the Democratic presidential primary.

In a series of tweets on Sunday morning, Mr Trump wrote that it was “so interesting to see ‘progressive’ Democrat congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run.

“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough.

“I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!”

The presidential trolling, just ahead of the weekly political talk shows, seemed guaranteed to light a fire – potentially as a distraction from Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids announced by Mr Trump and due to be carried out in major cities on Sunday.

Raids

On CNN’s State of the Union Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, appeared to be questioned about the raids. He was asked if Mr Trump’s tweets “feed into this impression that the president is racist and is pushing a racist agenda”.

Mr Cuccinelli said the tweets were examples of “rhetoric for the presidential race”.

Elected to Congress in November as one of the first two Muslim women to achieve that honour, she has emerged as a hate figure among Republicans, Fox News hosts and Mr Trump’s hard-right base of support.

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar was born in Somalia and came to the US in the 1990s. None immediately commented on Mr Trump’s tweets on Sunday. All have emerged as prominent opponents of the Trump administration and key voices in a Democratic party increasingly split over the best way to beat the president next year.

Mr Trump has regularly attacked Ms Omar and ridiculed Ms Ocasio-Cortez, although a new book does contain expressions seemingly denoting respect for the New Yorker, particularly the observation that she is similar to Eva Peron.

On Saturday, Tlaib, Omar and Pressley appeared together at Netroots Nation, a major progressive conference in Philadelphia.

Asked what she would say to women of colour frustrated or hurt by comments that seek to minimise their impact or vilify them, Omar said: “We never need to ask for permission or wait for an invitation to lead.

“We are not really in the business of asking for the share of that power. We’re in the business of trying to grab that power and return it to the people.”

Tlaib told the same panel that in politics, “you have to be unapologetically you”.

She made a national impression by doing just that in January, shortly after being sworn in.

Speaking to supporters about Mr Trump, she said “bullies don’t win” and promised: “We’re gonna go in there and we’re going to impeach the motherf***er.” – Guardian