Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump continued his now days-long attacks on four congresswomen at his Greenville, North Carolina, rally on Wednesday night, eliciting the raucous crowd of supporters into “send her back” chants.
Just 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.
The president, just days after making tweets calling on the four congresswomen known as “the squad” to leave the country, slammed Rep. Omar for past comments she made regarding the terror attacks on September 11 and accused the representative of having a “history of launching vicious anti-Semitic” comments.
“Send them back,” rallygoers erupted. Amid the chants, one supporter shouted “go back Somalia.” Others yelled, “traitor.”
Digging in, the president launched into a vicious series of attacks aimed the four freshman congresswomen, ripping Rep. Pressley for thinking “people with the same skin color all need to think the same.” On Rep. Talib, he called her out, stating she used 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 thanks to the special counsel investigation.
The president also zeroed in on Rep. 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, Rep. Omar shared an excerpt from the Maya Angelou poem “Still I Rise” on Twitter.
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
However, the president didn’t just go after freshman congresswomen, Trump saved some venom for a number of his potential 2020 Democratic opponents. Trump called out Sen. Elizabeth Warren multiple times throughout the night, 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 okay, we’ll bring it out of retirement very soon,” the president said.
Sen. Bernie Sanders also got a shout out 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. 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 said.
President 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 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. That is not a star,” the president said.
Trump opened the Wednesday 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,” he added.
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.
“The President pointed out that many Democrats say terrible things about this country, which in reality is the greatest nation on Earth, while defending countries and regimes that can’t hold a candle to our values and successes,” Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign’s communications director told ABC News in a statement.
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,” Murtaugh continued 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.
Trump narrowly won North Carolina in 2016.
This is the 26th rally he’s held in North Carolina since he first launched his presidential campaign in June 2015.
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