Democratic Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-Massachusetts), Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) responded to Trump’s attack that they should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came,” by calling for Trump’s impeachment.
Trump’s comments were “a disrupted distraction,” Pressley said. She said she wants to focus on the issues her constituents sent her to Washington to address, such as immigration reform and health care, but she said it was important to respond to the president.
Calling Trump “callous” and “corrupt,” Pressley said that despite the “occupant of the White House trying to marginalize us, we cannot, we will not be silent.”
“I will always refer to him as the occupant as he is only occupying space.”
Omar called Trump’s remarks “a blatantly racist attack on four duly elected members” of Congress, all women of color.
“This is the agenda of white nationalists. Whether it is happening in chat rooms, or it is happening on national TV, and now it’s reached the White House garden,” she said. She agreed with Pressley, calling for Trump’s impeachment.
The lawmakers took several questions at the end of their statements.
Three of the lawmakers were born in the United States.
Omar, who was born in Somalia and came to the U.S. when she was 12 and is now an American citizen, was asked to reply to Trump’s accusation that she’s a communist and supports al Qaeda.
“I will not dignify that with an answer,” she said.
Trump tweeted during the news conference, saying Democrats were “forced to embrace them,” apparently referencing the party’s support of the lawmakers he attacked.
“The Dems were trying to distance themselves from the four “progressives,” but now they are forced to embrace them. That means they are endorsing Socialism, hate of Israel and the USA! Not good for the Democrats!” Trump said.
The House plans to introduce a resolution this week condemning the president's attacks.
Trump doubled down this morning on his remarks about the four Congresswomen, telling reporters gathered at the White House that criticism of his comments "doesn't concern me because many people agree with me." He said Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, Omar and Pressley are "very unhappy" and "hate our country."
"I'm watching them – all they do is complain," Trump said. "So, all I'm saying is, if they want to leave, they can leave."